In this excerpt from the First Reading from today’s Mass for Ash Wednesday we read: “…rend your hearts and not your garments.” (Joel 2:13)
As I said a few days ago “I have been reading quite a lot of Marian spirituality and theology over the past few years.” My interior life has grown as a result, which is not surprising considering that she “…pondered things in her heart…” (Luke 2:19). When you learn in the “School of Mary” you cannot help but develop a richer interior spiritual life which is centered in the heart.
This is connected to the Gospel from today’s Mass, in which Jesus admonishes us to:
“…go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “ (Matthew 6:6)
I’m told the practice of “rending your garments” was done in the Temple or in public to demonstrate the strength of a person’s piety or outrage at something offensive (to God. Remember the chief priest rending his garment during Jesus’ Passion.) But it is a public display. The readings emphasize the importance of the interior life, of repenting and converting and making your “heart” and acceptable place for the Lord to dwell.
The Blessed Mother is an excellent model for us in this. Ask her to help you this Lent; pray for her to guide you through this Holy season which culminates in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of her Son which so greatly pierced her heart (Luke 2:35). Lent is our time to grow closer to the Lord, what better teacher than she who quite likely spent her entire life pondering Him in her Immaculate Heart?Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"