prayer for Ash Wednesday

image by debowscyfoto

Purifying Mystery, your light exposes in us all that we hide.
Awaken us and all your Holy Church to spiritual combat.
Lead us to purity of soul and body in these forty days.
Fortify us to take an honest look at ourselves
   and to name our secret sins and our ruts of disobedience.
Let abstinence from our addictions free us for prayer and the fire of love.
Perfect us by steady gaze toward your pure mercy and grace
   so that we may come to the Passion of Jesus
   and the Holy Easter in pure joy.
In confidence we commend ourselves and all our passions
   and cares to your never failing mercy.

OSL Publications © 2002, slightly modified


“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
    and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
    and he relents over disaster.

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