ASH WEDNESDAY & LENT – FORTY DAYS

ASH WEDNESDAY

Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy. And Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lent fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast. It cannot be otherwise, as it forms part of the great Easter cycle. (Thomas Merton)

LENT – FORTY DAYS

In the New Testament we find Our Lord fasting lent-graphic-cnsand praying for forty days and forty nights in the desert in preparation for the public ministry that would end in his redeeming death (Luke 5:35).

He is the new Adam who overcomes the temptations of the devil and remains faithful to God; the new Israel, who reveals himself as God’s Servant by his total obedience to the divine will, in contrast to those who provoked God in the desert. The Church sets aside the forty days of Lent in order that we might imitate Our Lord by our fasting, prayer, self-denial and good works, and thereby prepare our hearts for an Easter renewal.

“By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.” (Catholic Catechism #540).

[excerpt from Catholic Culture]

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