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Have mercy on us O Lord! - Ash Wednesday

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By Hugh McNichol
Op/Ed
Catholic Online

Today is Ash Wednesday and the penitential season of Lent is again with us. Traditionally the season recalls a period of penitential observances in our sacred rituals. We actively participate in fasting, abstinence and other devotions such as Stations of the Cross that help all of us journey through this contemplative and austere period of the Church's liturgical year. For my part, the hues of liturgical purple are welcome changes for my sensual perceptions our Sacred Liturgies. However one thing my Lenten contemplation will involve this year includes praying for not only personal and global penance, but the universal need by all Catholics towards constant conversion and reconciliation.

Lent is such a great transitional period. The 40 days devoted to this time of the Church's worship are perhaps the most deeply attuned with the entire notion of metanoia. Radical conversion requires radical introspection and commitment to the Catholic inspired cause. Globally, the Church is on the edge of participating in a new and radical transformation of the Gospel message through the life and sacramental ministry of the Church. As members of this Body of Christ, our goals and ambitions need to have the same direction as our Catholic Church...radical transformation in light of the message of the Gospels.

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