February 14 Ash Wednesday

Dear brothers and sisters, I pray God may open your eyes and let you see what hidden treasures he bestows on us in the trials from which the world thinks only to flee. Shame turns into honor when we seek God’s glory. Present affliction becomes the source of heavenly glory. To those who suffer wounds in fighting his battles God opens his arms in loving, tender friendship. That is why he [Christ] tells us that if we want to join him, we shall travel the way he took. It is surely not right that the Son of God should go his way on the path of shame while the sons of men walk the way of worldly honor: “The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant greater than his master.”

-St. John of Avila

 

From The Blessing of the Season

Merciful God, you called us forth from the dust of the earth; you claimed us for Christ in the waters of Baptism. Look upon us as we enter these Forty Days bearing the mark of ashes, and bless our journey through the desert of Lent to the font of rebirth.

May our fasting be hunger for justice; our alms, a making of peace; our prayer, the chant of humble and grateful hearts.

All that we do and pray is in the name of Jesus, for in his Cross you proclaim your love forever and ever.

Amen.