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Lent – Starting the Journey

March 7, 2011

Lent is like a time of running the race. Receiving the Ashes during Ash Wednesday is like being at the starting line. But will we run the race? Here are some helps to get started. Download: Ash Wednesday – Getting Started

  • HOW DO I START? Ash Wednesday begins Lent. It is easy for 6 weeks of Lent to pass by and one has not placed oneself on the ‘starting line’ to begin the journey. Taking part in the reception of the ashes symbolises starting the journey. It is possible to appear at the starting line but not enter the race! What was the experience and journey of Lent last year like? Share a decision and plan with a faith-friend and ask for them to cheer you on over the next 40 days.
  • IT TAKES TIME The image from the prophet Joel 2:12-18 (1st Reading Ash Wednesday) is an invitation for everything to come to a complete stop. Call everyone. Old. Young. Babies. Newly married. Priests in the middle of their work at the altar. How could you ‘stop’? Where? When? The image is of a special people called to be a ‘light’ not a ‘reproach’ among the nations. Give some time in a quiet place to tell yourself you have started the journey and write a decision or plan for Lent
  • WHAT CAN I DO? Jesus presumes that a disciple will do certain actions (see Gospel reading for Ash Wed, Matthew 6:1-6,16-18). When you give alms…. When you pray…. When you fast…. These are the three traditional and powerful lenten practices that help us focus on what is important.

Practice of Prayer: What voices do I listen to?

Practice of Fasting: What things fill my life? What is unhealthy? What needs change? Balance?

Practice of Almsgiving: What is my money spent on? Do I hear the cries of those in need and respond? Could I live more simply and be more generous?

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