“Ash Wednesday…is a continuing cry across the centuries that life is transient, that change is urgent. We don’t have enough time to waste time on nothingness. We need to repent our dillydallying on the road to God. We need to regret the time we’ve spent playing with dangerous distractions and empty diversions along the way. We need to repent of our senseless excesses and our excursions into sin, our breaches of justice, our failures of honesty, our estrangement from God, our savorings of excess, our absorbing self-gratifications, one infantile addiction, one creature craving another. We need to get back in touch with our souls.
Ash Wednesday confronts us with what we have become and prods us to do better. Indeed, Lent, we learn, is not about abnegation, about denying ourselves for the sake of denying ourselves. It is about much more than that. It is about opening our hearts one more time to the Word of God in the hope that, this time, hearing it anew, we might allow ourselves to become new as a result of it. It is about our rising to the full stature of human reflection and, as a result, accepting the challenge to become fully alive, fully human…”
-Sister Joan Chittister