A Lenten Beginning:

With the observance of Ash Wednesday, we inaugurate the season of Lent, the yearly season of preparation for the renewal of our Baptismal covenant at Easter. The ashes that we place on our foreheads this day remind us of our humanity, that we are creatures of the earth and that our lives and indeed the whole world depend entirely on God.

We are people who belong to Christ through our Baptism, and have a baptismal responsibility to express in our lives the compassion and mercy of Christ. Lent invites us to thank God for the gifts of our lives and all that we have to share. At the same time, we are invited to look truthfully at the ways in which we fail to show forth the presence of Christ through our human weakness.

So, let our prayer be thanksgiving for gifts received, and prayer for the courage and honesty to look at the parts of our lives in need of healing. One of our prayers at the Eucharist includes this phrase:  May God see and love in us what he sees and loves in Christ.  We can do this in Christ who strengthens us.

— S. Elaine Jahrsdoerfer , OP

You are invited to explore other Lenten inspirations at these links: US Catholic Faith in Real Life ; Prayer a Day For Lent ; The Pastoral Center

Photo credit: The above Lenten visual is from a larger display created by Sister Mary Ferrer McLean, OP.