T.S. Eliot wrote a complex, difficult, breathtaking poem for Ash Wednesday.
The Holy Father keeps Ash Wednesday in the Dominican church of Santa Sabina, on the Aventine Hill in Rome. He approaches the church in a solemn procession down Via Santa Sabina from the church of San Anselmo, which is about a quarter mile away.
In most of the languages of Christendom, the word for the season of penance before Easter comes from the word for forty, since the season is forty weekdays (and six Sundays) long.
In English, though, the name of the season comes from the verb lengthen, since the days get longer–and springtime comes–during Lent.
Here’s a short Ash Wednesday homily for you:
Everybody remember New Years? Did anyone make any good New Years’ resolutions?
I am going to start doing this good thing or stop doing that bad thing. –Remember those?
The Lord is very patient. Just at the time of year when we have broken our New Years’ resolutions so many times that we have just about forgotten them, Ash Wednesday comes.
Let’s be humble and honest. Lent is the time for us to dedicate ourselves again to growing in virtue and overcoming vice.
Rome was not built in a day. If I had a good New Years’ resolution which I have not kept, then I have a good Lenten resolution. One step at a time.
We start fresh from Christ at New Years. And we start fresh from Christ again on Ash Wednesday.
Remember: No meat today, and only one full meal for adults. No meat for the next seven Fridays.
Argentina expelled Bishop Richard Williamson from the country. He was in charge of a seminary there, but now he has had to return to England. Apparently, Argentina is not the place to be wrong about things.
A reporter hounded the bishop as he made his way through the airport yesterday. The bishop shook his fist at him.
Bishop Williamson may be wrong about the Holocaust, but he could be the man we need for bad-priest beat-downs.
…I guess it is fitting that exactly one year ago today I concelebrated Holy Mass in the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
The Holy Sepulcher is the tomb of Christ, the place where He rose from the dead.
The purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter, so it is a special gift to remember the empty tomb on Ash Wednesday.
In his homily in the tomb, Archbishop Burke said:
We are witnesses to the truth that He is risen from the dead, and that, through Him, we have the forgiveness of our sins and life everlasting.
We are witnesses that Christ is not in the tomb, that He goes before us, accompanying us and leading us on the earthly pilgrimage which has its destiny in the kingdom of heaven.