By Catholic Review Staff
While some may describe Lent as “gloomy” or a period of “self-denial,” Archbishop William E. Lori prefers to think of the 40-day period of preparation for Easter as a “time of grace” and a “season of mercy.”
“Think of Lent as spring training for our spiritual lives,” Archbishop Lori said in his Feb. 10 Ash Wednesday homily at the National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore. “Another way to think of it: Lent is like spring cleaning for our souls.”
Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore crowded into churches throughout the area to begin the Lenten season on Ash Wednesday, receiving ashes on their foreheads as a reminder of their mortality and a symbol of penance.
Archbishop William E. Lori imposes ashes during a Feb. 10 Mass at the National Shrine of St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore. (Christopher Gunty/CR Staff)
“In our short span of years, focus on what is most important – our journey to eternal life with God,” Archbishop Lori said. “The ashes on our foreheads are a reminder that we make this journey together, that we are to help one another along the way.”
The archbishop challenged Massgoers to let this Lent be a time when they allow the mercy of God to overtake them. He encouraged them to attend Mass, participate in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
“Pope Francis urges us during this Year of Mercy to practice the spiritual and corporal works,” he added. “When we give of ourselves to those in need, we recognize God’s gift of self.”