The Church’s Year
Why is this day thus named?
Because on this day the Church blesses ashes, and places them on the heads of her faithful children, saying: “Remember man, thou art dust, and unto dust thou shaft return.”
Why is this done?
St. Charles Borromeo gives us the following reasons for this practice: that the faithful may be moved to sincere humility of heart; that the heavenly blessing may descend upon them, by which they, being really penitent, will weep with their whole soul for their sins, remembering how earth was cursed because of sin, and that we have all to return to dust; that strength to do true penance may be given the body, and that our soul may be endowed with divine grace to persevere in penance.
With such thoughts let the ashes be put upon your head, while you ask in all humility and with a contrite heart, for God’s mercy and grace. Continue Reading