ASH WEDNESDAY, The Beginning of Our Lenten Journey


Today Catholics and many other Christians embark on the Lenten season when we go within ourselves to do penance and engage in activities that promote our spiritual transformation in order to draw closer to our Lord and prepare for Easter. It is time to purify ourselves through sacrifice and good works. During Lent, I try harder to keep Christ stronger in my mind and heart, by remembering what He sacrificed so unselfishly, so lovingly for my redemption, salvation, and eternal life in Heaven. I keep in mind the time that Jesus went into the desert Himself and that I need to experience my own desert and grow closer to Him through what I do during this 40-day journey.

Catholics receive ashes on our foreheads while the priest repeats the words that remind us that we will ultimately return to dust (Genesis 3:19). We are simply nothing without God!

Ways for Catholics to Live a Holy Lenten Season Life

• Fast from judging others; Feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
• Fast from emphasis on differences; Feast on the unity of life.
• Fast from apparent darkness; Feast on the reality of light.
• Fast from thoughts of illness; Feast on the healing power of God.
• Fast from words that pollute; Feast on phrases that purify.
• Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude.
• Fast from anger; Feast on patience.
• Fast from pessimism; Feast on optimism.
• Fast from worry; Feast on divine order.
• Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation.
• Fast from negatives; Feast on affirmatives.
• Fast from unrelenting pressures; Feast on unceasing prayer.
• Fast from hostility; Feast on non-resistance.
• Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
• Fast from self-concern; Feast on compassion for others.
• Fast from personal anxiety; Feast on eternal truth.
• Fast from discouragement; Feast on hope.
• Fast from facts that depress; Feast on verities that uplift.
• Fast from lethargy; Feast on enthusiasm.
• Fast from thoughts that weaken; Feast on promises that inspire.
• Fast from shadows of sorrow; Feast on the sunlight of serenity.
• Fast from idle gossip; Feast on purposeful silence.
• Fast from problems that overwhelm; Feast on prayer that strengthens.

-William Arthur Ward (American author, teacher and pastor, 1921-1994.)