As we progress in our Lenten journey-- the further we travel away from Ash Wednesday-- it is easy for us to forget that we remain in an introspective season. There is a communal aspect to Ash Wednesday, the ashes we wear are an outward sign that marks us as a fellow believer. This the one day of the year where we find solidarity with others in our recognition that we are all, in fact, sinners. When we see others with the sign of Christ's sacrifice writ large (or small) on their forehead, we are reminded of our need for s Savior and are called once again to turn our hearts back to Him.
"And exactly that is what you and I are meant to be: brother, sister. Because the same loving hand of God has created you, created me, created man of the street, created that leper, that hungry man, that rich man, for that same purpose: to love and to be loved. And this is what you and I have come together today to find the means of peace.
How does peace come? Through works of love. Where does it begin? At home. How does it begin? By praying together. For family that prays together stays together. And if you stay together, you will love one another as God loves each one of you. For Prayer gives a clean heart and a clean heart can see God. And if you see God in each other, if we have the joy of seeing God in each other, we will love one another. That’s why no color, no religion, no nationality should come between us. For we are all the same children of the same loving hand of God, created for greater things: to love and to be loved. Only we must experience that joy of loving."
St. Mother Teresa's address to the United Nations. October 26, 1985