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Today is the beginning of the penitential season of Lent. As such, it is a day of fasting and abstinence.

Specifically on this Ash Wednesday we look to our certain future, mortal death. We were born stained by the sin of our first parents and redeemed by the superabundant sacrifice of the new Adam. Victory over death is ours by accepting our Savior's grace -- on His terms. Know this: it is an offer of divine mercy, not a negotiation.

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