Ash Wednesday

" are dust, and to dust you shall return." -God

Today the Lenten season begins. Doesn't anyone else find that quote depressing? Here in Pennsylvania Dutch country, everyone, Catholic or not, loves Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday) because of the fasnachts. (For anyone not from around here, these are donuts covered with sugar that people made to use up their sugar and such because the Lenten season was to be somber and not filled with treats.) But after the dough settles into a leaden ball in their bellies, most move on with their lives. Catholics stay for the ashes.

Today I will encounter many people with a dirty smudge on their forehead. The priest dabs his thumb into the ashes and then he makes the sign of the cross on their head. People wear it like a badge today. "I got mine. Where's yours?" Or like some secret (not so secret when it is staring at me from your forehead) marking where you can identify your comrades. Of course today is also a fast day which makes me wonder about what Jesus said about not letting yourself look like crap when you are doing something spiritual like fasting.

Today I will fast, tho I won't wear ashes. I will meditate on the upcoming events of the Passion, this Gift, this Sacrifice, this Love. I will mourn, but I will praise God for this amazing work of redemption. I am more than just dust. I am a daughter of the King.


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