Wednesday, March 9, 2011
A few words from Our Pope
“Salvation is a gift, it is God's grace, but to have an effect in my life it requires my consent, an acceptance demonstrated in deeds, that is to live like Jesus, to follow him.
"...understood in this perspective also is the sign of the ashes, which are imposed on the head of those who begin with good will the lenten journey. It is a gesture of humility, which means: I recognize myself for what I am, a frail creature, made of earth and destined to the earth, but also made in the image of God and destined to him. Dust, yes, but loved, molded by love, animated by his vital breath, capable of recognizing his voice and responding to him;"
We are dust alive in the hands of God. This is the truth of our existence the truth of our profession of faith, our consent to God.
Two things on this lenten journey
1) we are invited to see ourselves as we really are. We have to take a long look into our life and remove the disguise we wear . We must be stripped.
2)we are invited to see ourselves as God would want us to be. We must be clothed anew in the garment prepared for us in the gift of salvation. Our consent changes everything.
Our "yes" to God is really our own recognition that God first said "yes" to us.
With every act of faith: praying a little harder, fasting a little more, giving to others, our horizon stretches outward and upward and we become the sign this generation longs for. We become the sign of Christ; we let the world know there is something greater.
Praying, fasting and almsgiving are the tools we use to restore all things in Christ.
In praying we make space and time to listen to God's word; in fasting we learn to hunger for more; in almsgiving we learn to share; thus, these tools reshape our heart to be like the heart of Christ in the world.
Today we are marked with ashes to let the world know there is something greater. We become the sign the world looks for to show to them that love has been crucified, love has been redeemed, love has come to set us free.
Let the journey begin and may Christ be all in all.
Remember the word "Lent" means to slow down and it also means to spring forward. Lent is not so much about dying as it is about living, new birth, new life. Is this not what the season of spring is all about. Life that has been dormant now comes to full bloom. The journey of lent is meant to reawaken life within, life on high in Christ.
Pope Benedict Lenten Message 2011