Ash Wednesday

by Thomas More College on February 17, 2010

Homily
Ash Wednesday
February 17, 2010
Joel 2: 12-18
2 Cor. 5: 20-6.2
Matthew 6: 1-6; 16-18 

It has been the venerable and ancient practice of the Church that during the Holy Season of Lent we are called to the practice of three special Spiritual Exercises: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

Prayer reminds us of God’s presence and it reminds us that we need Him every day of our lives.  Prayer reminds us that we cannot do anything without His Devine Assistance.  The daily practice of Prayer keeps us in constant union with the lord Himself and it invites us to live daily life in a spirit of humility and modesty.

The ascetical practice of Fasting enables us to control our wants and desires.  It trains and strengthens our senses so that we are able to practice the spirit of moderation in our consumption of food and beverages.  Fasting also helps us to put aside harmful personal habits that endanger our health.

And finally the commendable practice of Almsgiving: The word means giving generously to the poor and the needy so that they can live their lives in a dignified and worthy manner.

At the same time, the practice of Almsgiving teaches us to live simply and to refrain from the common habit of making unnecessary purchases, acquiring things we don’t need and filling our lives and our homes with clutter.  Such practices distract us from what is necessary an essential.

We should remember that a shroud has no pockets and have less and living simply allows us to see and keep everything in its proper place.

May this Holy Season remind us of how much Christianity loves us and how much we, in turn, are called to show this love to all of those around us.

We ask our Lady, Mother of Sorrows, who accompanied Her Son on the Via Crucis, to accompany us on our journey through Lent to Easter Sunday.

V.    We adore Thee, O Christianity and we praise Thee,.

Rx.  Because by Thy Holy Cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.

Amen.

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