[Blueboard] With Ash Wednesday we begin our Lenten journey

L/S Campus Ministry Office ls_cmo at admu.edu.ph
Wed Jan 30 11:04:39 PHT 2008

"So by our baptism into his death 
we were buried with him, 
so that as Christ was raised from the dead 
by the Father's glorious power, 
we too should begin living a new life."(Rm 6:4)

The season of intense prayer and reflection, penance and self-discipline 
commences on February 6, 2008.  We commemorate the season by marking ourselves 
with ashes as a sign of humility before God, to mourn and feel sorrow at the 
death that sin brings into the world. The ashes on our foreheads not only 
prefigures the mourning at the death of Jesus, but also places the us in a 
position to realize the consequences of sin.  Ash Wednesday is a somber day of 
reflection on what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully 

Let us begin our journey of Lent by participating with the entire Christian 
world in the Imposition of Ashes and Sacraments of the Eucharist and 
Reconciliation in the following venues:

10:00 am  at the Church of the Gesu
Main presider and homilist:  Fr. Pat Giordano, SJ
(A short Penitential Rite precedes the mass at 9:30 am and 9:45am.)

The schedule for masses and confessions at the College Chapel is as follows:
6:55 am, 12:30 and 4:30 pm 
(Note that the 11:30 am mass has been cancelled.)


Reflections on Ash Wednesday by Stuart Malloy

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. It is a somber day of reflection on 
what needs to change in our lives if we are to be fully Christians. It was not 
always the way we know it today. Ashes marked on the forehead of worshippers 
were not given to everyone, but only to the public penitents who were brought 
before the church. Much like Hester Prynne bearing her scarlet letter, these 
open and notorious sinners were marked publicly with the sign of their 

As time went on, others began to show their humility and their affection for 
the penitents by asking that they, too, be marked as sinners. Finally, the 
number of penitents grew so large that the imposition of ashes was extended to 
the whole congregation in services similar to those that are observed in many 
Christian churches on Ash Wednesday.

We who will bear the ashes upon our foreheads stand with those whose sins may 
be more public, but not, according to the Scriptures, more grievous to the 
heart of God. And so we make our confessions. . . . If you only knew the 
secrets of my heart, if you only knew the sins that I am capable of 
contemplating, if you only knew some of the schemes I have considered – and of 
course God does know – then you would know that I, too, am a sinner.

Ashes are signs that we are all in this sin business together, and that the 
difference between the good in us and the bad in us is sometimes frightfully 
thin. We so often fall short of the Faith we claim. We have treated people as 
things and we have treated things as if they were valuable people. And so we 
look into our hearts and make the ancient prayer of one notorious sinner our 
own: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" 
(Psalm 51:10). 

Lent is a season that reminds us to repent and get our lives centered, our 
priorities straight, and our hearts clean. This holy season offers us a new 
chance to say, "yes" to the Lover of our Souls who created us, who made us in 
his own image. Lent is the time for a restoration project that will reveal the 
beauty of God’s design for us, showing once again the scale, proportion, and 
priorities intended by our Maker.

Further, Lent is a season of hope and with ashes on our foreheads and hope in 
our hearts, we go forth to love and serve. For by God’s grace in Christ, we do 
not have to stay the way we are.

Loyola Schools Campus Ministry Office
Ateneo de Manila University
Ground Floor, MVP-CSL Building
Tel.#:426-6001 to 10 local 5161
Direct Line #:426-6522 
email: ls_cmo at admu.edu.ph
blogspot: www.ls-cmo.blogspot.com

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