Pope Benedict XVI recently highlighted the importance of fasting when he said, “ Fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it.”
Ash Wednesday is a time to recall and imitate the forty days when Jesus withdrew into the wilderness : a time of soul-searching , repentance and preparation for His passion leading up to Easter. From now on we will stay with Jesus through His divine ministry , His suffering in Holy Week , His Crucifixion and on Good Friday, His death. Finally, to rejoice in His Resurrection.
This is also a time to make a spiritual resolution.
In 2003 ,Pope John Paul 11 called for a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace. The Holy Father went on to explain the reasons for his decision , to observe Ash Wednesday on March 5 of that year.
“It is a duty of believers , regardless of the religion to which they belong , to proclaim that we will never be able to be happy if we are against one another. The future of humanity will never be able to be assured by terrorism and the logic of war, “ said the late pope, who will be beatified on May 1 this year.
Pope John Paul 11 told Catholics, “ to dedicate with special intensity Ash Wednesday to prayer and fasting for the cause of peace … “ He went on to say, “In every Marian shrine an ardent prayer for Peace will be raised to heaven with the praying of the holy rosary. “
Jonah’s call to the people of
was to repent and to announce a fast. ( 3.9 ). God heard their prayer and spared them. Nineveh
This year , 2011, Ash Wednesday will be on the 9th March and it will draw us nearer to Jesus and closer to our faith. The rosary can be the common invocation throughout the season of lent , remembering the ‘ Sorrowful mysteries’ each time in prayer. May this be the spiritual resolution we take upon ourselves.
Ash Wednesday initiates the period of lent. From the start of the Holy Season we prepare ourselves in the mystery of redemption.
The Church has picked the readings for each Sunday in Lent starting with Ash Wednesday (Ps. 51:3-4, 5-6. Mat 6: 1-6,16-18.) Ash Wednesday renews the faith ,the baptismal promises affirmed. The origin of Lent was a preparatory time for Easter when the people of God rededicates themselves to Him.
for each Sunday in Lent will be given in my writings . Readings