From:                              Deacon Joe Mills <>

Sent:                               Thursday, February 18, 2021 11:58 AM

To:                                   Karen Benson

Subject:                          Day 1: February 17, 2021


Feb. 17th Ash Wednesday  Link to Daily Readings ; Jl 2:12-18 PS 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17 2 Cor 5:20-6:2 Mt 6:1-6, 16-18 Resource Links: Introduction to 40 Day Contemplative Lenten Challenge Fasting and Prayer...






Feb. 17th

Ash Wednesday 



Link to Daily Readings;

Jl 2:12-18

PS 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17

2 Cor 5:20-6:2

Mt 6:1-6, 16-18


Resource Links:


PRESENCE OF GOD – I place myself in your presence, O Lord, shine your light on the eternal truths and awaken in me a sincere desire for conversion. 



Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.  For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.  Jl 2:12-18 


A clean heart create in me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Ps 51: 12 


George Weigel once wrote in an article about the signs in the London Underground station that say “Mind the Gap, cautioning passengers against stepping between the train and the platform. It’s also a pithy but accurate description, Mr. Weigel says, of the drama of the Christian life.  For we all live, daily, in the “gap” between the person I am and the person I was called to be at baptism.”  Lent is the time each year when we pay particular attention in our spiritual lives as we mind that gap.   


The readings today all invite us to the practice of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.  The Spiritual Journey can be seen as a three-step process.  Finding the center, purgation, and mission. Finding the center, simply put is allowing Christ to be the center of your being.  This is accomplished with a deep prayer life.  Purgation is a process of getting rid of sinful tendencies and habits and replacing them with Christian virtues, thus making one ready to do God’s will, e.g., mission.  It is no longer I (the old man), but Christ who lives in me.   (Gal 2:20).  This process is mirrored in the three-fold practices of Lent of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.    

Spend some time in silent mediation with the Readings today.  Reflect on the ‘gap’ in your spiritual life.  What are the areas in your life that the readings seem to be pointing that are in need of attention so that you might be drawn into a deeper relationship with the Lord?  In what specific ways might the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving help you in closing that ‘gap’ in your spiritual life?   

Ash Wednesday is an  obligatory day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics.  

For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards. 



Oh Lord! I look upon the person that I am and weep and my inadequacies.  The gap between who I am and who you want me to be is so wide, so deep it is impossible to cross.  But as I cry out for mercy, I see you in that gap, arms spread wide on the cross that bridges that gap.  Help me to walk the way of the cross so that I might do Your will in all things.   









Sent by Deacon Joe Mills












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