Ash Wednesday, Times of Mass and Distribution of Ashes
I have this complaint to make; you have less love now than you used to. Think where you were before you fell; repent and do as you used to do at first (Revelation 2:4-5).
During the six weeks of Lent every year the Church insists that we take a serious look at our lives. If we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves and refusing to admit the truth (1 John 1:8). Lent is our chance to assess ourselves and begin the difficult task of recognising the many ways in which we, in our comfortable daily routines, fall short of being Jesus Christ to the world around us. The hardest faults to eradicate are the small ones that make things just that little bit easier for us.
To help us to focus our lives less on self and more on God and other people, she prescribes additional prayer, small self-deprivations like fasting, and generous acts of love for others—almsgiving. St Augustine described fasting and almsgiving as “the two wings of prayer”, because they are signs of humility and charity.