This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Today I’m offering you some quotations related to Lent (either directly or indirectly) that you might like to pray with during this special season of the year.
1.”No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.” St. John Chrysostom
2. “Lent’s not what you give up; it’s how you reach out.” Regina Brett
3. “The thing to mortify is fear, this obstinate tendency to protect ourselves from God, to defend ourselves by sacrifices of our choice against the invasion of God’s love.” Louis Evely
4. “Jesus says, ‘When you fast, do not look gloomy.’ In view of this fact, we might want to consider this penance for Lent: to fast from gloominess, that is, to fast from complaining, from focusing on what’s wrong in the world, from wearing a cheerless face, from snapping at others, and from feeling sorry for ourselves.” Melannie Svoboda, SND
5. “You do not need to wallow in guilt. Wallow in the mercy of God.” St. John Vianney
6. “You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God and as soon as you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray,’ you can be sure you have already begun.” St. Josemaria Escriva
7. “You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving.” St. Francis de Sales
8. “The problem is, many of the people in need of saving are in churches, and at least part of them need saving from the idea that God sees the world the same way they do.” Barbara Brown Taylor
9. “If I want to discover my daily cross, all I have to do is ask myself a few questions: What would I like to get rid of in my life? With whom or what am I regularly irritated? Where does my pain, anxiety, stress, confusion or turmoil find its source? I ought not simply to endure or fight what is difficult for me, but rather to see my cross as a source of transformation. The cross is a way for me to grow if I accept it.” Sister Joyce Rupp
10. “Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” Pope Francis
11. “Satan does not care how many people read about prayer, if only he can keep them from praying.” Paul Billheimer
12. “Is prayer your steering wheel or spare tire?” Corrie ten Boom
13. “God is hiding in the world. Our task is to let the Divine emerge from our deeds.” Rabbi Abraham Heschel
14. One way to begin prayer is to say, “OK, I’m here, God. Your move.” Sebastian Moore
15. “If there is any path at all on which I can approach You, God, it must lead through the very middle of my ordinary daily life. If you have given me no single place to which I can flee and be sure of finding you, then I must be able to find you in every place, and in each and every thing I do.” Karl Rahner, SJ
Do any of these quotations stir your heart today? If so, which one(s)? Why?
Do you have any favorite quotes that relate to Lent that you could share with us?
How might we celebrate this penitential season this year? Any ideas? Suggestions?
PS: I am happy to report that I will be emailing the manuscript for my new book to my editors early this week!!! Here’s a photo of the hard copy manuscript: all 22 chapters.
Next step: editors decide to accept it or not. If they accept, they will probably have some suggestions about improving the manuscript! Thanks again for your prayers! You’re the best!
Our song today is “Wounded Healer” by Audrey Assad. My prayer for all of us is this: may we give our hearts to Jesus today and every day.
I invite you to share your thoughts below–or respond to those who have shared theirs with us.