Ash Wednesday Mass embodies the spirit of Lent. All are reminded to be sorry for sin and to do penance, but not in a spirit of showy sadness or of inward despair. Rather, let the sincere and humble prepare with inner joy to celebrate their baptism in Christ. By living their baptismal promises, they enter more deeply into Christ's suffering.

Knowing God's desire to forgive, to heal, and to share with all men His own divine life, we discipline our passions gladly and with confidence in victory. God gives the grace for every Lenten restraint. Therefore everyone should receive the blessed ashes, both as a means of grace and as a reminder to do penance unobtrusively, for personal sins and for the sins of all mankind.

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