Appropriate reflections on Ash Wednesday from Charles Chapman Grafton:
What hinders the spiritual advance of so many? 'Why is it,' said a holy man, 'that so many Christians seem to be walking up and down on a level terrace, and ever remaining where they are in the spiritual life, without advancement?' After much consideration he concluded, because they were lacking in abiding sorrow for sin, a fear of its little beginnings, a hatred of all that is connected with it, and a humble trust in Christ's acceptance and the cleansing of His precious Blood. But how natural is it, having experienced Christ's loving pardon and our acceptance, and possession of His peace, to think no more of the past. It should be remembered as a ground of our faith, as we realize the mercy of its great deliverance. He has plucked us as brands from the burning. He has opened His arms and gathered us into their safety, as our true City of Refuge. However great our sins may be, He knows them all, and He who knows us, forgives and loves us, and we can trust that love.