< <  

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

  > >

Ash Wednesday

Joel 2:12-18
2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2
Psalm 51:3-6, 12-14, 17
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

View Readings
Similar Reflections

lent in the hospital

"Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast." —Joel 2:15

I have written One Bread, One Body for about twenty years. Most of the time I have written these daily teachings in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Occasionally, I have to write these teachings on airplanes and at other sundry locations. Today, on this first day of Lent, I write from my hospital bed with an IV in my arm, as I await potential surgery.

Today, throughout the world, many millions of Catholics hear the sobering words: "Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." A hospital bed is a good place to appreciate this command and statement. A hospital bed is a good place to hear another command: "Yet even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning" (Jl 2:12). We know we should repent. But is it actually a matter of life or death, of salvation or damnation? A hospital bed is a good place to hear the wonderful promise: "Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!" (2 Cor 6:2) In the hospital, "now" tends to mean more than "tomorrow." A hospital bed is a good place to begin Lent and take God so dead seriously that we enter more fully into eternal life.

Have the holiest Lent ever, the Lent of a lifetime, a springtime of your life in the Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, teach me the deeper meanings of an ashen cross.

Promise:  "Then the Lord was stirred to concern for His land and took pity on His people." —Jl 2:18

Praise:  Before becoming Catholic Ted visited a Church on Ash Wednesday. He felt great peace and proceeded to receive instructions on the Faith in an RCIA class.

Reference:  (For the holiest Lent ever, learn more about the Bible. You may wish to order, listen to, or download our Overview of the Bible, a small series which has six CDs starting with CD 10A-1 or three DVDs starting with DVD 10A on our website.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.