Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Many Observe Ash Wednesday as 1st Day of Lent; Pope: Lent Teaches Us How to Live Christ's Love

Millions of Catholic and Anglican Christians worldwide ushered in the 40-day season of Lent today (March 9, 2011) by imposing the sign of the cross on their foreheads with ash on Wednesday, according to the Christian Post website.

Ash Wednesday, which falls 46 days before Easter -- 40 days if not counting Sundays -- marks the beginning of a season of reflection and penitence for Christians of the Western traditions.

"Through the traditional practices of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer, which are an expression of our commitment to conversion, Lent teaches us how to live the love of Christ in an ever more radical way," explained Pope Benedict XVI in this year's message for Lent.

Devout Catholics and Anglicans observe Ash Wednesday by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance -- a day of contemplating one's transgressions.

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