We are beginning Lent, a time of penance and interior renewal to enable us to prepare for the great feast of Easter.
The Church continually invites us to purify our souls and to start afresh.
As we receive the ashes today we are reminded of the words of Genesis, following original sin,
'Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris'
Remember man, that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19
In spite of this reminder we sometimes forget that without God we are nothing.
God wants us to abandon sin and return to Him; sin creates a barrier between God and ourselves.
'Jesus Christ himself is the most sublime grace of the whole of Lent. It is He who presents Himself to us in all the wonderful simplicity of the Gospel.' Blessed John Paul II
Jesus is continually looking for a contrite heart in each of us, a heart that acknowledges its weakness and sins and is prepared to change. God wants for us a sincere sorrow for our sins, which we show, above all, by going to Confession. Each of us should draw up a particular plan of mortification to offer to God each day of Lent.