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Ash Wednesday reflection

“Lent and life are both short and critical – the days as they pass are engraving, recording, sculpturing the things of the future on our souls. No two days are alike.”
Janet Erskine Stuart, Prayer in Faith

During the next 40 days of Lent, we offer an opportunity to listen to the voices of Lent – voices from throughout the Sacred Heart family – and the questions that open their hearts and pierce their souls during this specific time in our world and in our Church.

As we enter this season, we invite you to open your heart and to ponder this image we have chosen to focus on this Lent. This original painting, which resides in the library of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami, Florida, exhibits a beautiful contrast. Here, we meet the heart of Jesus in both the dark of suffering and the light of resurrection. It is the heart that directs us to create silence – to listen, rather than speak. It is the open heart that gives us courage to reach new frontiers and renew our Gospel commitment to live more humanly. It is Lent that draws us to the heart.

And so, we begin this Ash Wednesday
by recalling the palms of the past,
opening wide our clenched fists,
exposing the palm of open hands
and opening, as well, our hearts.

Placed in the fires of forgiveness and reconciliation,
we burn away what imprisons us.
We are signed with ashes
of acceptance of who we are now
and the desire to choose to live with less internal clutter,
more generosity, more compassion and more love.

We are signed with a new beginning.

Let us throw into the fire that which holds us back.

Reflection: Formation to Mission Committee
Image: Painting by Stephen B. Whatley