The Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten Season. Roman Catholics go to mass today as this is a day of obligation. This also means that this is the first day of 40 days of fasting or giving up certain types of luxury as a form of repentance. It is the season dedicated in a special way to fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.
Most of the Catholics know that ashes are used to remind us that we all started from ashes and to ashes we all return. Also, these ashes were from burnt palms used during last year’s celebration of Palm Sunday. This Christian tradition is normally taught to students in their primary grade in most of the Catholic Schools.
The sacrifices we do for the season is better kept to ourselves. No one should know that you’re giving up something so that only the Lord will know your desires. According the homily a while ago, the goal of the Lenten season is to discipline us to do good and be closer to God. It is because by doing good to ourselves and to others, we are also being closer to the Father.
I have read some beautiful insights by Fr. Stephen, MSC written on his blog. You can read the whole post about the Lenten Season and his suggestions on how to meaningfully observe the Lenten celebration. I have listed only a couple of things:
1. Forgive someone who has hurt you deeply.
2. Say thanks to a tricycle/jeepney/bus driver.
3. Read the Bible.
4. Write a love letter to your spouse.
5. Plant trees.
6. Make someone smile.
7. Help your parents do the household chores.
8. Play your favorite game with your siblings.
9. Help an old person cross the street.
10. Cook for your parents.
….. continue reading the whole post here.
*all images are from Fr. Stephen, MSC.
So, what will you give up for this year’s Lenten Season?
By the way, here’s a trivia I’ve learned through the internet about the Ash Wednesday. In the Republic of Ireland, Ash Wednesday is also their National No Smoking Day! ^_^