Ash Wednesday: Into the desert again

+JMJ+ Seems like we’ve been in a spiritual wasteland for a couple of years now but here it is again, Ash Wednesday. Time to head into the desert once more. Yet even in the midst of all the trouble and trials we’ve been going through, we can make this a fruitful Lent and a time to grow deeper in our love of God, even if we haven’t been feeling the love for a while.

On Thursdays I’ve been writing a series within a series, going through Brant Pitre’s book, Introduction to the Spiritual Life, in the Catholic Book of the Month series. I’m using that book as a guide to help me live this Lent, not just live through it, but really live it. It’s going to help me practice the spiritual exercises that Jesus gave His disciples (and now us) in the Sermon on the Mount:

  • Fasting (Part 7 of the Introduction to the Spiritual Life),
  • Almsgiving (Part 8 of the Introduction to the Spiritual Life), and
  • Prayer (Part 9 will be posted sometime during the night of March 3).

There’s more to it, but I haven’t gotten that far in the book. This week’s post (on Thursday, March 3) will be about the third spiritual exercise: prayer. I won’t go over any of that here. I did a brief overview of the three spiritual exercises in a recent post.

Subscribe if you want to get these posts in your inbox. (Use that link or the form at the end of this post.) Maybe one day I’ll start using an email service so that my posts go out marked as Catholic Heart and Mind instead of that generic WordPress in the sender line. All in good time, I suppose, all in good time.

This Lent I’m also listening to the Bible in a Year podcast by Fr. Mike Schmitz, but I’m behind so for me it’s gonna be more like the Bible in a Year, Year and a Half. ;) I was trying to write a thread of notes and post it every night on Twitter, but I began listening late in the series and now I’m falling behind even more, so I may only do those on occasion. I mean, I’m doing well to write two posts a week, I think. We’ll see what happens. 

I want to leave you with a some words from someone besides me. First up, a video from Fr. Mike.

Video, Lent Is a Process—Not an Event, by Fr. Mike Schmitz.

And second, a video from Dr. Brant Pitre.

Video, The Biblical Roots of Ash Wednesday, by Brant Pitre.

Okay, I’m going to listen to the Bible in a Year and do some lectio divina, and also see if I can catch up a little. Thanks for visiting the blog and reading. I pray that you and I will stay holy and virtuous this Lent, and may these spiritual helps aid us to become who the Lord intends us to be: SAINTS. God bless you and may His Peace be always with you. +JMJ+

Join me on Fridays for the Rosary Project Live on Twitter at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, to cultivate a culture of Light, Life, Love, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, for the conversion of sinners, and for the salvation of souls. There’s also a Rosary on the blog you can use anytime.

“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” — Padre Pio

Notes and Links

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Image credit: Christ in the Wilderness, by Moretto da Brescia (Alessandro Bonvicino), the Met Museum, public domain.

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