Ash Wednesday (March 9) marks the beginning if the season of Lent. It is a time when we fast with joy, submitting ourselves to spiritual struggles in preparation for the sorrowful Passion and joyful Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
What is demanded of all Christians at this time is fasting, abstinence, restriction of personal desires and pleasures, intense prayer, confession, and similar ascetic elements.
Lent is a sacred time of divine grace, which seeks to detach us from things material, lowly and corrupt in order to attract us toward things superior, wholesome and spiritual. It is a unique opportunity to remove from the soul every inordinate passion so as to make room for the immense rejoicing and gladness of Easter.
Limiting ourselves to what is absolutely essential and necessary in an attitude of dignified, deliberate simplicity is a formula for patience and tolerance; it is an opportunity to acknowledge and emphasize our need for God''s assistance and mercy, placing our complete trust in His affectionate providence; it is a prescription for salvation.
Let us be up and on our way.
Paul Kokoski, Hamilton, Ontario, CA