It’s late on Ash Wednesday. My mind is racing far too much for this time of night, but that’s not unusual. I have always been a night owl. Before I sit down for Night Prayer (Compline) I decided I needed to write just a bit.
I have quite the Lenten to-do list this year, so I hope I don’t cave in early. I have a devotional from Blessed is She, and I am awaiting the arrival of my book club bundle from WINE. My husband and I are going to be more intentional about our prayer time together, and we’ll watch videos from the Pray More Lenten Retreat. Of course, my prayer journal will be at my side. I am actually excited about Lent…though that sounds a bit odd. I guess it’s because I know how much I need this spiritual boost. One of these years, perhaps I will stay on track well after the forty days are over!
Many people grumbled about Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s Day this year, and disappointment was heard as people learned they would not receive a dispensation so they could enjoy a fancy candlelit dinner and chocolates. In some ways, I found this comical (I enjoy Valentine’s Day, too!) but I also found it sad. It is evidence of the growing secular nature of our culture. Romantic dinners are so much enjoyable than fasting, aren’t they?
But these 40 days are upon us, despite any other calendar events. The Mass today and coming up this Sunday both feature Psalm 51:
Have mercy on me God in your kindness; in your compassion blot out my offense. Oh wash me more and more from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin.
It is one of my favorite psalms, maybe because I need to pray it so often! Ah, but it gives me so much consolation. I may fall to temptation, but all I need to do is fully repent. He will cleanse me from my sin. His mercy is abundant. Thanks be to God!