Lectio Divina for February

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Today's Scripture
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Taking the Gospel to prayer

This Scripture sets the tone for the next 40 days. Lent calls us to sacrifice - prayer, fasting, and almsgiving - in a private fashion. Of course, you can have a family or group commitment to a Lenten project. The privacy concern is not that you must do something by yourself but that you are not seeking self-gratification in what you do. Fasting may lead to losing a few unwanted pounds, but the point of the fast should not be to lose weight.

Some are finding this year's COVID-adapted distribution of ashes a bit odd. But this sprinkling method of placing ashes is common in other countries and, perhaps, more consistent with today's text. Yes, wearing a cross on your forehead is a public witness of faith, but keeping your penance to yourself is a practice of humility.

Lord, walk with me as I take this Lenten journey so that I may grow closer to You each day. Amen.

Ash Wednesday

Bishop Malescic's Daily Lenten Reflection
Seven Founders of the Servite Order
Sacred Space Daily Prayer
Lent: God's Invitation
Fasting and Abstinence Information
USCCB Lent Calendar
Rice Bowl Calendar
Arts & Faith Ash Wednesday
Word Search from Catholic Mom.com
Busted Halo: Should I Give Something Up? Or Take Something On?
Unplugging For Lent- 50 Ideas For Giving Up Screens And Technology

CLOSING PRAYER from Ash Wednesday Daily Prayer, Creighton Online Ministries

Lord, it feels like we are embarking on a Lenten journey together, you and I.

Today we are invited to let the Holy Spirit purify our hearts, and strengthen us in love.

That feels like what I am looking for - or what you are looking for in me.

I want to remember how much I need you in my life and how much my life needs redemption.

I want to remember it clearly and in the background of my day today and all through Lent.

On this special day, Ash Wednesday, may my small sacrifices in fasting be a way to clear away the clutter in my life to see you more clearly.

May my longing for meat and other food, help me to focus my life today more outside myself.

Let me be aware of those who are in so much more suffering than I am and may I be aware of them as the brothers and sisters you have placed in my life.

Lord, I know there is darkness within me and around me.

Bless these days with your Word.

Let your Light shine in the darkness.

Help me long for that Light until we celebrate it at the Vigil six weeks from now.

And most of all Lord, help me to honor this day with the ashes on my forehead.

They help me remember where I have come from and where I am going.

May I acknowledge to you my sins and my deep need for your loving forgiveness and grace.

I pray that this Lenten season will make me so much more aware of how much I need your healing in my life.