Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Ash Wednesday, March 5

Today’s Grace

I ask for the grace of an intimate knowledge of God's presence in my life and an awareness of my own response.


From the First Principle and Foundation of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, based on a paraphrase by David Fleming, SJ:

children with ashesThe goal of our life is to live with God forever. God created us and gave us life because God loves us. Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into us without limit.

All the things in this world are gifts of God, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love to God more readily.

As a result, we appreciate and use all these gifts of God insofar as they help us develop as loving persons. But if any of these gifts become more valuable to us than the goal for which we were created, they displace God and so hinder our growth toward our goal.

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2
Brothers and sisters:
We are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Working together, then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

Reflection Questions

  1. Today, I receive ashes on my forehead. Why do I choose to participate in this very old ritual? What does it mean to me, personally? What recent experiences in my life do I bring to this ritual? What hopes and dreams for this coming Lent do I bring to this ritual?
  2. Reflecting on 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2, we read, "Now is a very acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation." Reflecting on the circumstances of my life at this moment, I explore: Now is an acceptable time for what, exactly? I ask God this question. How might now be a "Day of Salvation" for you? I speak with God about this.



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Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

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