365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Ash Wednesday

For all you non Catholics out there – the day immediately following Mardi Gras is ASH WEDNESDAY. This is why all of us Catholic walk around with ‘something on our foreheads’. We know it’s there… it’s intentional.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that comment out of the way I do want to say that I don’t expect everyone to just know what the Ashes on the forehead means. It doesn’t offend me or bother me for someone to mention that I have ‘dirt’ on my forehead. I get that people are just trying to be polite and make sure I am aware of the fact that I look a little strange. I appreciate that. But, with the number of Catholics out there I can’t be the only one you’ve seen today that went to mass (and therefore has ashes on his or her forehead). The logical conclusion then would be that some ‘cultural thing’ is going on that perhaps you’re not familiar with. Not that a bunch of people all randomly smudged something on their forehead and are walking around unaware for hours. Feel free to ask me what is on my forehead and why. I will tell you without hesitation that it’s Ash Wednesday. If you don’t know what that is or what it signifies, that’s fine, ask me. I will happily explain. But please, keep your smart ass comments about it to yourself.

Ash Wednesday is the start of the most important season in the Catholic Church. It’s the time we prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a time of abstinence and fasting and personal reflection. It’s a time to test your faith and think about all the things in your life that matter the most. To think about your own personal relationship with God. Catholics are marked with Ashes at the beginning of the season of Lent to remind us of the sacrifice made by Jesus – that he gave his life for us. For me this year it’s about trying to find my way back to the spiritual parts of my life.

Faith is something that has been important to me all my life. Admittedly this past year or so I have struggled with it a lot. I guess you can say that I am on a bit of a journey of discovery when it comes to religion and faith and church and all that. I believe it to be a very very personal thing and it’s mostly something that I keep to myself. I have never been a fanatical Catholic. I am not the person that is going to spend hours whacking you over the head with a bible trying to convince you that it’s the ‘one true path’. Frankly I don’t actually believe that. I believe each of us have our own path to walk and they are all taking us to the same ultimate destination. How we get there doesn’t really matter – THAT we get there does.

Catholicism has been the path I’ve walked my entire life – with a few bumps along the way sure – and it’s likely to be the path I walk for the rest of my life. But I love to talk about different religious views, cultures, rituals, practices, and experiences with God and faith. I actually quite enjoy learning about things that I know very little about. It helps me in my own personal journey of faith.

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March 9, 2011 Posted by | Challenges, Faith | , , , , | Leave a comment