Abp. Aymond: Choose one weakness as Lenten focus
Archbishop Gregory Aymond asked Catholics today during Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Louis Cathedral to select one area of their lives that needs to change and to adopt a penance for the 40 days of Lent that will help them fulfill that change of heart.
He said choosing more than one weakness may not be effective “because we only have six weeks. We truly want to look at the area of our lives which does bring darkness to us and perhaps to others and ask the Lord to help us undergo that change of heart.”
Archbishop Aymond said there is no sin that anyone has committed that cannot be forgiven by God.
“Nothing, nothing, is too great for God to forgive. Nothing,” he said. “Whatever it is we hold in our hearts, we may say, ‘Oh, God you can’t forgive that.’ God says, ‘I do because I am merciful.’ He will walk with us during these 40 days.”
In the first reading from the Book of Joel, God asks his people to "return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning ... For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment."
Archbishop Aymond said Catholics are not "called to take a lie detector test, but as we begin this Lenten journey, we are called to be very prayerful with ourselves, even if that may cause us to feel somewhat uncomfortable."
The archbishop asked the Massgoers to discern if there was anything "in our relationships with God or others that truly needs to change."
"We truly want to look at the area of our lives which does bring darkness to us and perhaps to others and ask the Lord to help us undergo that change of heart," Archbishop Aymond said. "Once you and I have identified what it is that we believe God is calling us to change, then, and only then, can we choose a penance that would help us experience conversion or the change of heart."