The Lenten season is quickly approaching, February 18th will mark the beginning of the season of Lent. This is the season in our faith that we reflect, fast, and perform penance in order to prepare for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
During our Ash Wednesday Service our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told, "Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.” The ashes are a symbol of penance that are blessed and thus made sacramental. The ashes are usually made from the blessed palms from the Palm Sunday that we celebrated the previous year. The ashes are then christened with Holy Water and exposed to incense. The ashes represent penance and contrition and remind us that we serve a gracious and merciful God who calls us to come to him with repentant hearts.
By abstaining from some small pleasure or indulgence and taking on an activity or devotion that will focus us more on Him this season we can fully reflect on His mercy and prepare our hearts to receive the Gift of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection.