Happy Ash Wednesday!! AKA the best Wednesday of the year! I love Ash Wednesday because it marks the start of the Lenten season. I went too 7 am mass to get my ashes because I love having my ashes on all day. I have been getting my ashes before class for 4 years now and I love all the conversations it starts! But this year is special! My ashes are on the side of my forehead!! After I came out of mass I laughed for a good 20 minutes, God is so funny and always finds the weirdest ways to bring me joy!
Significance of Ashes
Ash Wednesday originated during the 6th century in the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics and other Christian denominations get ashes on Ash Wednesday to symbolize penance. They also represent our faith and traditions within the church. When ashes are placed on your forehead, the priest says “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Repentance is when we express sincere regret for the sins we have committed and promise to God to be better in the future. Lent is a great time to grow in your understanding of the word of God, and believe the words that are written in the bible.
What is Lent?
Lent is a time where we are supposed to grow in our relationship with Christ to prepare for his death and resurrection. Lent represents the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus was tempted in the desert by the devil. Lent is 6 weeks long, it starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday.
How do we grow in our relationship with Christ during Lent?
During lent many people give something up or add something to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ. I think it’s is great to give stuff up, but the purpose of lent is to grow in a deeper love of Jesus. Let’s say you give up junk food, how does that help you grow in deeper relationship for Christ? I’m not saying don’t give up junk food, but I am asking you how does that draw you closer to Jesus? This goes for anything, if you don’t have a solid answer for how that helps build your relationship, I would recommend you give up something else or add something on top of it. I have never been one who liked giving up things for Lent since it didn’t help build my relationship with Christ it just distracted me from my relationship from him. Instead, I try to grow in holiness by adding things to my daily life! Since coming to college I have struggled so much with saying my rosary every day, but I want to grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus through the Blessed Mother. I also want to attend daily mass as much as I possibly can to receive Jesus in the eucharist and learn more about him through scripture. I also have decided to add a daily devotional my mom got me! I love daily devotions because they only take 5 mins out of your day and they are always so powerful. I also have decided that this Lent I will try to be more merciful towards myself and not be so hard on myself. I struggle so much with thinking I sin more than I do and overthink everything. I have become so focused on the idea that God will only love me if I’m perfect and don’t sin. But God loves us as we are and he knows what’s truly in our hearts. I have been telling everyone else that, but I need to start believing it for myself and accepting God’s mercy. Our God is a merciful God.
I wish everyone the best this lent! I pray that your relationship with Christ grows so much, so you are prepared for his death and resurrection. Remember he died on the Cross for YOU! So what can you do to show your gratitude towards his selfless mercy? He loves you and adores you like you are the only human he ever created! Happy Lent! Make it a good one!