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In a beautiful homily by Pope Francis for the Ash Wednesday liturgy, our Holy Father encouraged all Catholics to ask God for "the gift of tears in order to make our prayer and our journey of conversion more authentic and without hypocrisy."

"Do tears come when we pray?" ~Pope Francis

The Lenten call to conversion, emphasized Pope Francis, is "a push to return, as did the son of the parable, to the arms of God, the tender and merciful father, to cry in that embrace, to trust him and to entrust ourselves to Him."

Click here to read the Pope's Ash Wednesday homily.

Let us pray for one another as we begin this Lenten pilgrimage!

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness
~book of Joel, chapter 2, 12-13

Copyright 2015 Maria de Lourdes Ruiz Scaperlanda