Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent: When “the world is in disorder”, we must “turn to God”
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Lent is celebrated by Christians around the world from Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
During Lent, believers remember and honor the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert after his baptism, during which he was tempted by Satan.
Ash Wednesday begins a 40-day spiritual pilgrimage for today’s devotees – symbolized by receiving ashes on the forehead.
“Many of us have been too busy doing other things that haven’t brought us the happiness God wants us to have” – Lent is “the perfect opportunity to deepen our relationship with God”.
Noting that the ashes are “a sign of repentance and a willingness to walk with Christ,” Fr. Stephen Rock of Reading, Massachusetts, told Fox News Digital that as the ashes are applied, these words are spoken: “‘Repent and believe in the gospel’ or ‘Remember that you are dust and you will return to dust'”.
Prof. Rock is a priest in the Catholic community of Reading, which consists of two churches, St. Agnes and St. Athenasius. He shared a number of other thoughts this week on Ash Wednesday.
Lent is a “time of penance” that allows us to better prepare ourselves to “enter into the mystery” of Holy Week, Fr. Roche noted. During Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday, believers reflect on the final period of Christ’s life on earth, including the Last Supper, Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection – which is celebrated on Easter.
“Christians believe that Jesus, the Son of God, did all of this for our salvation and to free us from sin and death,” the father said. Rock.
He continued, “Lent is a time for us to fast, pray and do works of charity (or almsgiving).” For all who embrace this time with an open heart, Fr. Rock said it will “allow them to draw closer to our loving God and strengthen their spiritual lives.”
It’s not so much what we “give up,” Rock said — because many people abstain from alcohol, sweets, or other treats or treats during Lent. Instead, it’s really about “giving God more time, inviting him to come into our hearts and transform us.”
Prof. Rock compares this to “the farmer in the gospel who sows the seeds and falls asleep not knowing exactly how the seed sprouts, blossoms and ripens. He trusts that God will provide.”
Rock noted that Lent is not intended as some kind of religious “show” but rather as a “realistic” and “down-to-earth” time for believers.
“It’s about the ashes and the cross,” he said. “It’s about everything that touches us in life and how we spend our time. It’s about sin and sorrow, life and death.”
Prof. Rock linked Lent to current world events. “The world is a mess, our society seems adrift, and COVID-related issues have made matters worse,” the priest said.
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Referring to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Fr. Rock said there was no better time to “turn our thoughts to God, inviting him into our lives to strengthen us. and give us hope in a world that seems so out of control.”
Rock said that if believers take seriously the three pillars of Lent – fasting, prayer and acts of charity – these “will help open our hearts to a God who loves us. Then everything changes.”
Prof. Rock added: “Many of us have been too busy doing other things that have never brought us the happiness that God wants us to have.”
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“Lent gives us the perfect opportunity to deepen our relationship with God. He wants a relationship with us. If we take the time,” he also said, “God will help us to be hopeful and of joy”.
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“So we can say at Easter: ‘He is risen, He is risen indeed!'”