Read Psalm 51:1
Our temptation in Lent is to be so impressed by our sins and failings and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in a paralyzing guilt, a guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God. It is guilt that becomes an idol and form of pride. But Lent is precisely the time to break down this idol and to direct our attention to our loving Lord. The question is: are we like Judas, who was so overcome by his sin that he could not believe in God’s mercy any longer and hanged himself? Or are we like Peter, who returned to his Lord with repentance and cried bitterly for his sins?”
“You are dust, and to dust you will return.” This ancient formula will be heard by millions of Christians all over the world this Ash Wednesday as the sign of the cross is made in ashes on their forehead. This symbolic act is both a solemn reminder and an invitation to renewal.
Prayer: Lord God, this Lent help me to do my best to keep my mind fixed on you and your kingdom.
~Henri J. Nouwen