Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And So Lent Begins

Today is Ash Wednesday, which means it is the beginning Lent- 40 days until Easter. This is one of the most important times of the year in the Catholic Church. We are preparing for Jesus' coming! On Facebook, one of my friends (actually the campus minister of the Catholic Center, the awesome Mary) posted a link (below) that has all kinds of information ALL about Lent!

Have some questions? Check out these Q&A from Catholic Online

Why do some refer to Easter as Easter and others use Lent or Pentecost and what is the significance of each?
Why do we put ash on our forehead?
Where do the ashes come from?
What is Fat Tuesday?
What is Pentecost?
What is the significance of the 40 weekdays before Easter?
Why is Easter observed in only some Christian Churches?
When does Lent end?
All About:
Giving something up
Scrutinies: Examing our lives
Scrutinies and Penance
Prayer, fasting and almsgiving
Stations of the Cross
Blessed palms

I think going to Mass on this Ash Wednesday has prepared me for Lenten journey. Father gave us a good homily about making time every day to spend time with God in the desert. In solitude, quiet, and be open listening. I'm going to try to do this every morning (especially) and night. 

Here is a prayer I found:
From: Online Ministries

The First Four Days of Lent
Ash Wednesday
Lord, it feels like we are embarking
on a Lenten journey together, you and I.

The beautiful words in the today's prayer talk about
the "quiet remembrance of our need for redemption."
That feels like what I am looking for -
or what you are looking for in me.
I want to remember how much I need you in my life
and how much my life needs redemption.
I want to remember it clearly and
in the background of my day today
and all through Lent.

On this special day, Ash Wednesday,
may my small sacrifices in fasting be a way to clear away
the clutter in my life to see you more clearly.
May my longing for meat and other food,
help me to focus my life today more outside myself.
Let me be aware of those who are in so much more suffering than I am
and may I be aware of them as the brothers and sisters you have placed in my life.

Lord, I know there is darkness
within me and around me.

Bless these days with your Word.
Let your Light shine in the darkness.
Help me long for that Light
until we celebrate it at the Vigil six weeks from now.

And most of all Lord,
help me to honor this day with the ashes
on my forehead.

They help me remember where I have come from
and where I am going.

May I acknowledge to you my sins
and my deep need for your
loving forgiveness and grace.

I pray that this Lenten season
will make me so much more aware

of how much I need your healing in my life.

By the way, I was completely amazed when I was looking through my "stats" as to how many have viewed my blog and which posts....I've had 95 views just TODAY about a post from last year's lenten season. Check it out! Little Black Book

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