Compunction – Ash Wednesday

Greetings on this Ash Wednesday
Readings: Jl 2:12-18; PS 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17; 2 Cor 5:20—6:2; Mt 6:1-6, 16-18

Compunction – is etymologically related to the verb “to puncture”.

The suggestion is the need for us to deflate our egos, stop our self-deceit, and reorder our lives as true disciples of Jesus Christ – Paraphrase of “The Spirit of Lent” Mark Searle, Assembly, Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, Notre Dame, IN

A puncture … do you recall I said compassion is to ‘co-suffer’? Divine co-suffering?

Compunction is the same. Divine compunction is the effect upon the Divine of our sense of guilt. Our awareness of guilt is an imperative for the Divine.

Divine Pity

Leading up to Ash Wednesday I reminded the reader that we have been focusing on the Divine Pity – the power of God and the will of God to act on our behalf in our most desperate situation.

It is good to recall that today as we are but “Ash… and to ash we shall return’.
The Divine Pity brings about an entirely different outcome.


The readings in the first part of Lent attempt to achieve the impossible. Breaking through or pierce our heardened hearts and replace them with human hearts.

Focus of Repentance and Baptism – the ashes remind us of our mortality, certainly, and our need to repent (ash-cloth and ashes) and the sign of the cross the Divine Response of Love and Salvation.

The three practices of Lent are taken directly from the teachings of Jesus Christ. He cautions us to do so with the proper disposition of heart, that is with Compunction – a desire of change.

  1. Almsgiving – see the human need with a divine eye.
  2. Prayer – commune with the divine one.
  3. Fasting – be in solidarity with the human condition and the divine solution.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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