Ash Wednesday, Start of the Lenten Season
I say to you: but except you do penance, you shall all likewise perish.
“O almighty and everlasting God… Who desirest not the death, but the repentance of sinners….
Who art moved by humiliation, and appeased by satisfaction…
Spare those who are penitent, be merciful to those who implore Thee…
and who accuse themselves, conscious of their sins,
deploring their crimes before Thy divine mercy…
Incline the ear of Thy goodness to our prayers and mercifully pour forth
upon the heads of Thy servants sprinkled with… ashes the grace of Thy blessing:
that Thou mayest both fill them with the spirit of compunction,
and effectually grant what they have justly prayed for:
and ordain that what Thou hast granted may be permanently established and remain unchanged.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
(from the traditional prayers for the Blessing of the Ashes)
“Our Lord looked down upon the [Holy] City twice.
Once, from Mount Olivet, and He weeps for it.
And once, from Calvary, and He bleeds for it.”
(J. Manton, C.S.S.R.)
Stormy weather at the Vatican hours after the Holy Father announced his resignation. CNS photo.
Blow ye the trumpet in Sion,
sound an alarm in My holy mountain,
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:
because the day of the Lord cometh,
because it is nigh at hand.
A day of darkness, and of gloominess,
a day of clouds and whirlwinds…
Before the face thereof a devouring fire,
and behind it a burning flame…
the people shall be in grievous pains: all faces shall be made like a kettle.
Now therefore saith the Lord:
Be converted to Me with all your heart,
in fasting and in weeping and in mourning.
And rend your hearts, and not your garments,
and turn to the Lord your God:
for He is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy,
and ready to repent of the evil….
They… have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb (Apoc. 7.14)
If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow:
and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool
(Joel 2.1,2,3,6,12-13; Isaias 1.18).
The time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God…
The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of His people,
and its princes…. [cf., our post “Gloria Olivae“]
Ah! I will comfort Myself over My adversaries:
And I will be revenged of My enemies.
And I will turn My hand to thee, and I will clean purge away thy dross,
and I will take away all thy tin…
After this thou shalt be called the city of the just, a faithful city.
Sion shall be redeemed in judgment, [brought] back in justice.
And He shall destroy the wicked, and the sinners together:
and they that have forsaken the Lord, shall be consumed.
(1 Pet. 4.17; Is. 3.14; 1.24-28)
“As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible chastisement on all humanity. It will be a chastisement greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the ‘good’ as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead….”
(from the Third Message of Our Lady of Akita on 13th Oct. 1973 approved by
the local Ordinary of Niigata, Japan and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation
for the Doctrine of the Faith).