Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ashes & Martyrs

HAPPY ASH WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lent is here! One of my top favorite liturgical seasons! I'm really pumped. It's okay if you aren't pumped as well; I've met very few people who really get excited for Lent (but they do exist, I have met others who share my enthusiasm). It's been a quite splendid day thus far. I was blessed to sacristan with my husband at the 6:30 Mass on campus, which was awesome. Here at Franciscan University, the 6:30 a.m. Ash Wednesday Mass is always packed. It's a Mass that  most people can attend, since it happens before classes start. People who usually don't go to daily Mass want to get their ashes, so they pop right in. And, inevitably, there are students who decide to attend 6:30 Mass more often for Mass. So, instead of having 150-200ish people at the 6:30 Wednesday Mass, we had approximately 364. Thank the Lord for Liturgy Committee people who helped us figure it out! :)

Campus is so beautiful with all the snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After a quick stop at home, I was then extremely blessed to pray on a bench amid the gorgeous, beautiful, and amazing weather. And now I'm waiting for my class in Egan, relishing the beautiful joy and love of this day. Today we begin a glorious season of mortification, peace, and sacrificial love, preparing to enter deeply into the Passion of Christ. Today we wear ashes, publicly acknowledging our need to repent and the reality of our eventual death. Today we are witnesses to the redemption and mercy that God offers us. But this attitude can't stop when the ashes are gone from our foreheads. We need to be witnesses of God's sacrificial love each day.

Recently, ISIS beheaded twenty-one Christians. These people gave their lives for Christ. I am horrified at what ISIS did, and I am outraged that we live in a world where people continue to be killed for their Faith. Where is the justice in this?

I am also filled with joy at the love and faith of these martyrs. These people embrace the goal of modern sanctity: to live and die for God. Let us pray for their families, their friends, and the people who killed them. And let us imitate their sacrificial love and faith in God in our own lives each day!

I would like to close with the words of Pope Francis regarding this recent tragedy:
"I would now like to turn to my native tongue to express feelings of profound sorrow. Today I read about the execution Of Those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians. Their only words were: "Jesus, help me!". They were killed simply for the repute they were Christians. You, my brother, in your words the referred to what is happening in the land of Jesus. The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony Which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference Whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.As we recall These brothers and sisters who died only Because They confessed Christ, I ask That We Encourage each another to go forward with this ecumenism Which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood. The martyrs belong to all Christians."

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