21 Feb 2012

Ash Wednesday 2012 - UPDATED

0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles. 0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us - Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him according to the greatness of his majesty.
0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles. 0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us - Praise him with the sound of the trumpet; praise him with lute and harp.
0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles. 0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us. - Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe.
0 Lord of hosts be with us; for we have no help but Thee in troubles.

0 Lord of hosts have mercy on us.



Ash Wednesday - The beginning of the joyful season of Lent
And so the time turns and this season of renewal and repentance comes around again. It is one of the beauties of the liturgical calender that we have this joyful season of waiting and preparation for the summit of our faith - Easter and Resurrection morn.  As Fr Micháel reminded us on the programme on Sunday morning, Lent is seen as being a season of doing without, where we are called to repent and believe the Gospel. But for the ordinary person perhaps it could be summed up in a child-like expression as "Don't be bold and say your prayers" (Ná bi dána agus abhair do phaidreacha).

The season of Lent is a journey towards Easter and that we should travel with good heart to the joyful event of the Resurrection at Easter, to make room for the joyful heart to enter into us. After all the grace of God is knocking on the doors of our hearts, it is very near. It is an opportunity to turn once more to a welcoming Father; to a Father who wants to share with us his peace; the peace of Easter and the new hope.

Light a candle and enter into some prayer, no matter how little. God is always waiting to hear from us. The season allows us to do a small bit of harrowing of our heart, a bit of sowing of seeds of faith, hope and love into our lives. A time to shake ourselves up a small bit, to re-engage with the passionate love of our Saviour for each one of us.

It is also a season to re-enter into communion with our sisters and brother in the faith, those around us and those around the world with the opportunity to reach out materially and in prayer to those in need.
The ashes of Ash Wednesday are a reminder of our need to turn once more to God, to put him first in our lives as best we can as we take once more to heart the message of the psalm:
Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervor sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.
O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse;
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit,
a humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

Walk with Joyful heart with Jesus and Mary. Open your hearts and believe in the Resurrection


Reflections on the day and the readings of the day from the English Dominicans and from Renewal ministries.

Some further resources and reflections for Lent and Ash Wednesday:
Going on line will show that there are hundreds of resources, reflections and suggestions for Lent. Our suggestion, have a look at a few and pick one and let that be the bit of "harrowing of the soul"  that you do for Lent.

UPDATES:

H/T People for Others:

"The Great Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian.”

O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors
and not to judge my brother,
for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

Some other links from around the web:





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