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This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

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Ash Wednesday, C

ash heartASH WEDNESDAY – Hearing the words we may think : Already? And we go on thinking silently… Lent is there… It means: sacrifices, depriving one self of this and that, a bit… morbid? Gloomy?

Strange, this is not the picture given by the Scripture readings. The main idea standing out from the texts is that of God longing, yes longing, to have us back with him – for real and for good! The words of Joel (Joel 2:12-18) ring loud and clear. “It is the Lord who speaks – Come back to me with all your heart, let your heart be broken not your garments torn.”

The word ‘heart’ refers to much more than the life-sustaining organ of our physical bodies. Someone will chide another saying: “Put your heart into your work.” A person who is discouraged will admit: “I don’t have the heart to do this just now.” While encouraged by a friend, a person will say: “His words gave me heart.”

Our relationship with God is a matter of the heart – or, at least, it should be! This is the message of today’s celebration. During the Lenten period starting now, we are invited to pray. What is prayer if not a heart-to-heart conversation with God?

And whatever form that will take, we are reassured by Jesus’ own words (Mt.6:6) that the Father sees the depths of our heart and all that is hidden there, and that is enough for him. Gloomy? In no way, on the contrary, very comforting indeed!

Source: Image: www.dreamstime.com


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