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Ash Wednesday: The beginning of our Lenten Journey

We invite you to join the BVM sisters, associates, and friends in this 2024 Lenten reflection. As many of you know, Mary Frances Clarke, the Foundress of the BVM sisters, is a woman of practicality and affection who still deeply inspires her followers today. Her BVM sisters speak of her as if she is always present and personally involved in their lives—and, of course, she is.

Mary Frances Clarke knew that her sisters could not teach school while fasting or doing other kinds of penance. They were busy teaching children, caring for boarders, and working for their daily needs. Jesus wasn’t much into penance either. When a young man asked him, which commandment in the law is the greatest, Jesus did not tell him to fast and do penance, rather he told him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mt 22:36-39).”

As we begin our Lenten journey, let us ponder these first two commandments that were the bedrock of Mary Frances Clarke’s spiritual journey. Join with us as we ask:

  • If Jesus spoke the above words to you, how might you change your daily living in some way?
  • Is love your greatest commandment? Do you put other things ahead of the commandment to love?
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