Ember Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Matthew, Chapter 10, verse 28
28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

We must be resilient in our faith to resist the devil and the suffering he inflicts by his influence on weak and sinful men. John McCain in his book Character is Destiny[1] points to the 16th President of the United States as a man who demonstrates for us the characteristic of RESILIENCE. Resilience is the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.

Abraham Lincoln had known loss and grief all his life yet rather that than succumb to defeat; he somehow, always found a way to rise back up. He was inarguable a man of action. Although he was known to have chronic depression he never yielded and in some way resurrected from his melancholic states thinking, “To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better.”

Lincoln rose to the highest office in the land after surviving a hard and poor childhood in the Indiana wilderness, a harsh father, little education, and deep loneliness. He survived the death of his brother, a sister, his mother, his first sweetheart, and his own children and his marriage to Mary Todd was troubled. As president he was considered dismal by most.

How did Lincoln persist? He willed it. He was neither swift nor brilliant at work but he was exhaustive; he continued. His resilience sprang from his deep conviction that America was, “the last, best hope of earth.”

In the end he paid for his devotion with his life; so that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Ember Wednesday


What Are Ember Days?[2]


The term “Ember Days” is derived from the Latin term Quatuor Tempora, which literally means “four times.” There are four sets of Ember Days each calendar year; three days each – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Ember Days fall at the start of a new season and they are ordered as days of fast and abstinence. The significance of the days of the week are that Wednesday was the day Christ was betrayed, Friday was the day He was crucified, and Saturday was the day He was entombed.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the purpose of Ember Days, “besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.”


The Four Occurrences of Ember Days are as Follows:


·         Winter: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of St. Lucy.
·         Spring: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Ash Wednesday.
·         Summer: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost.
·         Fall: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of the Holy Cross.

What is an Ember Week?


The term Ember Week simply refers to the week in which the Ember Days occur.

Today take a walk and thank God for the gifts of nature.







[1] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York

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