An Ash Wednesday reflection

By Vicki Vicars, Mission, Equity & Resilience Dir.

The Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday reminds us to give alms without blowing a trumpet, pray in the privacy of our rooms so that we don’t stand out before others, and fast without looking gloomy. 

This gospel message reminds us that the work that we do, the prayers that we offer, and the fasting that we commit to is really meant for God. These three spiritual practices are meant to deepen our union with the God who created us.

That’s the goal I believe we’re called to seek on this Lenten journey — union with God over accolades from others. Perhaps this gives us insight into what St. Angela Merici may have been thinking when she said, “Reflect that in reality you have a greater need to serve the poor than they have of your service.”  She knew what God calls us to in this gospel reading. 

The Ursuline charism of respect gently challenges us to uphold the dignity of those we work with and walk with. When we’re grounded in the message of the gospel, St. Angela Merici, and the Ursuline charism, we clearly can become a witness to God’s kingdom of mercy, goodness, and justice.  

For nearly 150 years the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and all those involved in their many ministries have been faithfully giving alms, praying, and fasting to serve God and His people. May our work as staff, employees and Associates continue to do the same.

God bless your Lenten journey.