Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

 A Lenten Renewal:
Reflections on the Mass readings in light of our daily lives
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
Yesterday marked exactly three weeks since we received ashes on our head this year. It made me think about my prayer on February 17 that I would remember those ashes for the rest of Lent. But I had forgotten completely about them. So now, halfway through Lent, I’d like to share some thoughts on those by-now-forgotten (or perhaps distantly-remembered) ashes.
The purpose of ashes at the beginning of Lent is to remind us of the importance of the penance of this season. Sackcloth and ashes have, since biblical times, been symbols of complete metanoia—turning away from sin and toward God in newer, more fervent ways. The very fact of being signed with ashes tells the world that I am ready to do penance for others, but even more, the ashes announce that I am in need of repentance myself.
I should like to wear these ashes deep in my heart for the next three weeks as a reminder to me that there are broken places in me that need to be healed before I can rise with Jesus from the dead.
The ashes we were given were gleaned from the burning of the palms of last year’s Palm Sunday. Now I pray that I—no, that God— can incinerate within me the stalks of self-will that prevent me from turning toward Him. And so I pray,
A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me (Psalm 51:12).
Let us continue with the task of Lent, whatever that may be for each one of us, so that on Easter we may fly to Him in a resurrection that transforms us.
God bless your Lenten Thursday
with many small miracles that foretell the glory of Easter.
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“With Mary, our lives continually proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the joy experienced in rendering service to Him.”

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