Today is Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer, fasting, and penance. The next forty days serves as a period of sacrifice, spiritual renewal, and prayer. Many Catholics fast this day as a symbol of sacrifice which may consist of no meat and only one meal.
“The ashes we receive on our forehead in the shape of a cross serve as an outward sign of our sinfulness and need for penance. The ashes also symbolize our mortality, a reminder that one day we will die and our bodies will return to dust. Hence the traditional words, ï¿½Remember that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.ï¿½”
“The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.”
My plans are to follow the ( 1-1-1 Plan) Our Sunday Visitor
“The best Lent is one in which we enter the season wholeheartedly. All too often, people either take on too much or don’t take on enough. The solution is to simplify our disciplines, focus our intentions and concentrate more clearly on our spiritual goals.
To keep it simple this Lent, try the “1-1-1 Plan”: one sin, one add-in, one give-up. Concentrate or focus on one sin or fault that is getting in the way of your relationship with God and with others. Add one positive activity that will deepen your prayer and spiritual life (especially if you think you are too busy to put anything more into an impossibly busy schedule!). Deny yourself something you really like or are attached to”.