February 18, 2015- We celebrate Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a journey into ourselves. A time to reflect on our own humanity- our life, our experiences,our relationships, our entirety as a person. Lent will not be as meaningful unless a person goes through conversion. We always hear the word, "conversion" however, not everyone goes through this experience of awakening. We often witness people attending seminars for spiritual renewal, going to church often, claiming God in their lives but do we really see any change in them?
This Lenten season invites us to go deeper into ourselves,into our hearts and admit the truths of how we have lived our lives, how we have behaved towards others, how we have thought about others.... we can never say we have been totally generous, merciful, kind or compassionate. We always have our flaws but we can always turn to God. It is by God's grace that we can be converted and be totally transformed. In Pope Benedict XVI's homily, he said, "This return to God becomes a reality in our lives only when the grace of God penetrates and moves our innermost core, gifting us the power that ‘rends the heart.’ Once again the prophet proclaims these words from God: ‘Rend your hearts and not your garments.’ (v. 13). Today, in fact, many are ready to ‘rend their garments’ over scandals and injustices – which are, of course, caused by others – but few seem willing to act according to their own ‘heart,’ their own conscience and their own intentions, by allowing the Lord transform, renew and convert them (thecatholicthing.org).
It is true that only a few can face the truths in their lives. This is because they are still proud to admit their flaws and shortcomings. They can not be humble enough to admit to their insecurities, the hurts, pains and grudges lurking in their hearts. They still hold on to these incidences and damages in their lives and can not let go. But not unless we face these truths can we be set free. We can not experience a change of heart if we do not allow God to heal our brokenness.
This Ash Wednesday calls us to humility knowing that from the earth God has molded us and breathed forth life on us and to this same earth we shall return. Over the years priests mark our foreheads with ashes with the words: “Remember thou art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return.” (Gen. 3:19)
Here are some sites where you can find reflections and activities during this lenten season: