Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten observance with the reception of ashes. In this photo above, Fr Simeon, from St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer Massachusetts, distributes ashes to the sisters.
Fr. Simeon reminded us in today’s homily that Lent is about new birth. It mirrors the natural environment and our experience of Spring. Like the plants and trees around us, we hope to shed winter’s vestiges and become alive with new growth so that we may resurrect with Christ on Easter.
There is nothing dreary about Lent. Instead, it should be a time of rejoicing. We are eternally loved and sought after by God who became human to demonstrate His unconditional love. Fr. Simeon ended his reflections by suggesting that the following saying of St. John of the Cross become our mantra for Lent:
“In the first place, it should be known that if anyone is seeking God, the Beloved is seeking that person much more” (Living Flame of Love, 3.28).