Quote of the day: Thomas Merton on Ash Wednesday

“Ash Wednesday is for people who know that it means for their soul to be logged with these icy waters: all of us are such people, if only we can realize it.

There is confidence everywhere in Ash Wednesday, yet that does not mean unmixed and untroubled security. The confidence of the Christian is always a confidence in spite of darkness and risk, in the presence of peril, with every evidence of possible disaster…

Once again, Lent is not just a time for squaring conscious accounts: but for realizing what we had perhaps not seen before. The light of Lent is given us to help us with this realization.

Nevertheless, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday is not focussed on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a savior.”

– Thomas Merton, quoted here.

Comments

  1. Deacon Norb says:

    Just an observation:

    Last year all of our Ash Wednesday celebrations were packed — literally wall-to-wall. As everyone was leaving one of those liturgies, I spotted a professional couple who were the parents of a rookie priest in our diocese who was then studying in Rome for his doctorate.

    I called them aside and said: “Whatever you do, never tell Fr. Tim how many folks attend Ash Wednesday Services here in the US. Someone in the Vatican will get the idea to make it into a Holyday of Obligation and then — no one will come!”

    All three of us got a good chuckle out of it all.

  2. I love that you linked to Bro. Dan’s blog.

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