The Modern Catholic Dictionary’s definition of Lent includes the following: “Originally the period of fasting in preparation for Easter did not, as a rule, exceed two or three days. But by the time of the Council of Nicaea (AD 325) forty days were already customary. And ever since, this length of time has been associated with Christ’s forty-day fast in the desert before beginning his public life.”
Every Ash Wednesday we hear the following words while a priest places ashes on our foreheads in the form of a cross: “Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.” It was in the book of Genesis that we were told that man was created from the dust of the Earth and will ultimately return to dust. (Genesis 3:19)
Last Saturday (April 2nd) my parents, Carl and Kathryn Williams, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. My sister and her husband, Colleen and Bill Brannon, organized a Mass and party for them. The people in attendance at the party were my parents, their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and some of their friends and relatives.
As Catholics, we know from what we’ve been taught that it was necessary for our Lord to die on the cross in order to redeem us from our sins and to open the gates of Heaven. Prior to His death, because of the sins of Adam and Eve, Heaven was “off limits” to everyone.
A quote I like from Thomas S. Monson states, “It has been said that the gate of history turns on small hinges and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny.”