Rend your hearts-not your garments..Reflection on Ash Wednesday- Lent

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.”—Joel 2:12.

This week the Church throughout the world begins the solemn celebration of the season of Lent. I also join with our brothers and sisters who join us for Catholic Blog Day.  Most folks when they think about Lent think of “giving up” something, sacrificing something physical, but if we look at the first reading for Ash Wednesday it say is clearly “rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.”  The purpose of the intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving is to see our life as more connected and grow deeper in our relationship with God.

As we begin these 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, what is important to note is what is happening to our heart during this time.

  •  Is it making us more passionate?
  •  Are we becoming more aware of our neighbor?
  •  Do we see ourselves more clearly as instruments of God in service to our community?Our world suffers from one of the most distressing sins of our time—Apathy. Like, Jesus, we are driven into the desert to pray and fast for 40 days.  This time for us is to give our hearts the time to combat apathy. This intense time of prayer is meant to give us a chance to connect on a deeper level to God and to each other, thus driving from apathy to a passionate response.How can we create a space in our hearts and in parishes/communities o move us from be apathetic to being a passionate voice for the poor and marginalized? How do we welcome the stranger to our communities?  How do we move to be a community that is a transformative agent in the community that we exist?
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