Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday - The Beginning of Lent

Here's a quote from an article by Fr. Paul Scalia of the Diocese of Arlington:

"This is how we approach Lent. Every sacrifice and mortification we embrace ought to be as a seed falling to the earth and dying — to bear great fruit. Catholic fasting and penance is not a matter of “white-knuckling it” until Easter arrives. Lent is not just holding our breath until Easter. Rather, our Lenten sacrifices are the seeds of our Easter joy. Thus, since “he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor 9:6), let us be generous of heart, even in the smallest sacrifices, so that our Easter harvest will be abundant."

I remember Fr. Scalia also saying that our acts of penance shouldn't become penances for others; i.e. if giving up our morning cup of coffee is going to make us cranky and rude, perhaps we should consider a different sacrifice! That made me laugh because it reminded me of how I am when I go through sugar withdrawal on the first few days of a low-carb diet...

Anyway, here's to kicking off my favourite season in the Church year! I love the prayerful, meditative atmosphere of Lent. God feels especially near during this time, and there's so much hope!

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