Today, we begin the Forty days spiritual journey with the Lord, who prayed and fasted for forty days and night.

A journey of Forty days with Jesus, who came into the world, suffered, was crucified, died and resurrected. It is a season of spiritual encounter with the Lord, as we search out the diet in our heart. This calls for inward evaluation of every Christian.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, when we are all reminded of our mortal nature. This is symbolized by the ashes we receive on our foreheads on this day. The nothingness of the human nature; “Dust you are, unto dust you shall return”; “Repent and believe in the gospel”. The ashes are from the palms blessed on Palm Sunday, otherwise (Passion Sunday).

Today, we are all invited to return to our Creator in total repentance from our sinful ways. Submit yourself to God for purification; seek for God’s forgiveness and mercy. Turn from any evil way and do good. An invitation, to drop off, and pick up; ‘lent is when you give up who you’ve been for who you can become’.

In this period of Return and Repentance, we are expected to engage in some spiritual exercise, (penance).

  1. Pray without season during lent for God’s grace throughout this forty days. Let the voice of prayer not be silent.
  2. Fast for fortification. Must not be fast of meals alone; sweet, talk less and listen more, ‘if you don’t have something good to say about somebody, please remain silent- shut-up’. Avoid slander, for your tongue could be a weapon of destruction. Fast from destructive criticism, rather correct. Fast from excessiveness and save for the poor.
  3. Almsgiving (Charity). Charity is superior to all the virtues. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of divine love. It is the first of the theological virtues: ‘for faith, hope, charity abides; but the greatest of these is Charity” 1 Cor. 13:13. The fruits of charity are joy, peace and mercy.

Remember, no one is too poor as not to have something to offer to the other. Charity is patient and kind; you could be charitable with your smiles and good words of love.

May God give us the needed grace to remain faithful in our penance throughout this Lenten season and always.

Enjoy the last day of spring, for the continuation of winter tomorrow.

Have a spirit filled Lenten observances and penance!