Ash Wednesday – Life is a Pilgrimage

Excellent homily (from 1997) on Ash Wednesday by Cardinal O’Connor:

“The emphasis on Ash Wednesday is that this life is a pilgrimage. We are here today and gone tomorrow. We saw this tragically just the other night with the train crash in Washington. As a priest, of course, the first question I ask myself, without any implication to the contrary, is “Were the people who died in a state of grace, prepared for death?” The Church still teaches heaven, purgatory and hell. None of these has been abrogated. The Church still teaches that if we actually die in the state of mortal sin we may be facing eternal suffering which never ends in accordance with the divine Word, the Word of the merciful, compassionate God. Of course God is abundantly merciful and can forgive in the flash of an instant, so even if we but say the words at the moment of death, we can be forgiven.”

To read the homily in its entirety:


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