Today you may see people going about their day with a dark smudge mark on their foreheads. This is the day when Catholics, and other Christians, literally wear their faith on their faces. This day, Ash Wednesday, begins the first day of Lent. At mass, the priest places ashes in the shape of a cross on foreheads signifying our need for repentance and is also intended to remind us of our mortality, “from dust we have come and to dust we shall return” (Genesis 3:19). Without Him our bodies return to earthly dust, but as God’s creations we will return to an eternal home with Him.
This 40 day Lenten season prepares us for the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. During this season, we prayerfully seek a closer relationship with Jesus asking for His mercy and to walk side by side with Him. We open our hearts to seek His wisdom and ask for forgiveness. By offering a sacrifice and fasting during this time we give up things we hold onto as comforting and we turn to Jesus to find our true strength.
We seek to renew our love and charity and return to our gracious and merciful Lord with our whole heart. In Pope Francis’ Lenten message he prays to our Lord to make our hearts like His and for us to, “receive a heart that is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed…”.
We invite you to make a Lenten prayer journey with My Saint My Hero as we begin our 40 Day Prayer Pledge.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:13
* * * *
This year today, Ash Wednesday is also observed on the feast day of Saint Bernadette. My Saint My Hero commemorates St. Bernadette (1844 – 1879) as the patron saint of all those searching for a miracle, especially the sick and poor in spirit. My Saint My Hero’s beaded necklace is a reminder that through faith, miracles become visible in the everyday blessings of our lives.