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Questions About Keeping the Ashes on Out in Public
What Does the Prayer Really Say ^ | 2/17/10 | Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Posted on 02/18/2010 5:56:52 AM PST by marshmallow

Questions… questions…

From The Catholic League:

JOE BIDEN RIDICULED FOR WEARING ASHES

Fox News analyst Bob Beckel today criticized Vice President Joe Biden for wearing ashes on TV; today is Ash Wednesday and Biden is Catholic.

In the middle of a discussion on President Obama’s stimulus plan, Beckel gratuitously said, “Sorry about laughing, but I looked at Joe Biden’s forehead, and I know it is Ash Wednesday, but I’m not sure I would wear that ash on the air. Anyway….”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue wasn’t amused:

Bob Beckel’s admonishing remark, “I’m not sure I would wear that ash on the air,” makes us wonder whether it is the public display of ashes he finds risible, or the religion that sports them.

In any event, there is no record of Beckel ever lecturing a Jew about wearing a yarmulke on TV or a Muslim wearing a turban. Must be something about Catholicism that bothers this guy. We’d love to know what it is. At the very least, a clarification about what he meant is in order.

I am not a fan of Vice President Biden. I think his public record as a pro-abortion "Catholic" Senator and his risible comments about Church doctrine concerning abortion deserve all the beatings we can deliver. I think it is a scandal that his bishops would not deny him Holy Communion.

However, you do not have to be in the state of grace to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. You receive because you are a sinner.

At the same time, I remember something in the readings about washing your face and not being obvious as a penitent in public… yes… I remember reading that somewhere (cf. Matthew 6).

Tough call.

So…. ashes in public? Give witness to your Catholic identity in a world which needs it?

Wash them off because of what the Lord says?

Discuss.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: ashes; biden; catholic
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1 posted on 02/18/2010 5:56:52 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

The point being: did Zero actually say that?


2 posted on 02/18/2010 5:59:40 AM PST by sarasota
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To: marshmallow

Is this the first time he has done this? Has Biden been photographed in public with ashes on his forehead in previous Ash Wednesdays?


3 posted on 02/18/2010 6:00:12 AM PST by alicewonders
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To: marshmallow

I have no problem with the ashes, but I do have a question....has Biden ever done this in the past or is this just an attempt to kiss up to Catholic voters?


4 posted on 02/18/2010 6:00:12 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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To: alicewonders

Excellent question Alice :)


5 posted on 02/18/2010 6:01:49 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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To: marshmallow

Just Joe wanting to make sure we all know he is a good Catholic.

Sad thing is he isn’t a good anything.

I wasn’t impressed.


6 posted on 02/18/2010 6:01:50 AM PST by dforest
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Paint the target.


7 posted on 02/18/2010 6:02:02 AM PST by evad (OBAMA is a Clear and Present Danger to This Nation..and...He doesn't learn.)
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To: alicewonders

Yes, according to several commenters in a thread at Inside Catholic (if I remember correctly), he goes out of his way every year to be photographed in his ashes. Pelosi did the same thing this year.


8 posted on 02/18/2010 6:02:11 AM PST by Houghton M.
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To: JoeDetweiler

Great minds think alike!


9 posted on 02/18/2010 6:02:38 AM PST by alicewonders
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To: JoeDetweiler

So long as it was a smudged cross and not a smudged pentagram, I’m not offended.


10 posted on 02/18/2010 6:02:41 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: marshmallow

I see no problem with mocking Biden for wearing the ash in public. It isn’t like he’s a real Catholic anyway.


11 posted on 02/18/2010 6:03:04 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: marshmallow

Some Protestant churches also observe Ash Wednesday. The comment questioning his decision to wear the ashes was inappropriate and, IMHO, as politically incorrect as using a derogatory term to refer to the race, creed or color of another human being.


12 posted on 02/18/2010 6:03:50 AM PST by knittnmom ("...only dead fish 'go with the flow'". - Sarah Palin 7/09)
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To: marshmallow

IMO, a Catholic Pro-choice (isn’t that an oxymoron) Dem, wearing ashes in public, must certainly be akin to what was spoken of in this verse:

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.


13 posted on 02/18/2010 6:04:15 AM PST by dawn53
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To: Houghton M.

Well, then it isn’t up to me to judge his intentions, the LORD will do that.


14 posted on 02/18/2010 6:04:28 AM PST by alicewonders
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To: marshmallow

Wearing ash on your head in public is ok if you mean it as as a sign of penitence - as a way of saying “I am a sinner”.

It is not ok if you mean it as a way of saying “I am fasting, look at me!”. Much better in that case to avoid the risk of Phariseeism and wash it off.

As always it is not the sign, but what is going on in the interior that matters.

I hope Biden meant it as a sign of inward humility and repentance. For all his faults it is at least plausible. Whereas - imagine Clinton or Obama with the ash on their face.


15 posted on 02/18/2010 6:05:18 AM PST by agere_contra
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To: marshmallow

Beckel the continuing absence of class and character. Just another tasteless remark.


16 posted on 02/18/2010 6:05:36 AM PST by pointsal
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To: marshmallow

“Catholic League president Bill Donohue wasn’t amused:

Bob Beckel’s admonishing remark, “I’m not sure I would wear that ash on the air,” makes us wonder whether it is the public display of ashes he finds risible, or the religion that sports them.

In any event, there is no record of Beckel ever lecturing a Jew about wearing a yarmulke on TV or a Muslim wearing a turban. Must be something about Catholicism that bothers this guy. We’d love to know what it is. At the very least, a clarification about what he meant is in order.”

*****************************
Donahue makes a good point.


17 posted on 02/18/2010 6:05:59 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Houghton M.

I never understood how you can be catholic and pro abortion.


18 posted on 02/18/2010 6:06:13 AM PST by lula ( If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?)
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To: marshmallow

Here’s the thing - the photo I saw, the smudge was even bigger and darker. The make up folks had to have worked around it. Keeping it to show off is pride. Rubbing it off intentionally is not a good thing either though since we shouldn’t be ashamed of our faith. Mine sort of disappears during the day. It’s ash, not grease paint. By evening, even a big smudge has fallen off. So as it says, its for sinners and repentance but I doubt whether Joe has repentance for his pro abortion stance and other issues. Who knows.


19 posted on 02/18/2010 6:06:51 AM PST by Mercat (Horizontal Fracking)
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To: lula

Do Catholic doctors wear ashes while performing abortions? Even partial-birth abortions?


20 posted on 02/18/2010 6:09:25 AM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree (Kenya tell me where Obama was born?)
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To: marshmallow

One thing is for sure, both Biden and Beckel are ash holes.


21 posted on 02/18/2010 6:10:57 AM PST by Patrioticdale
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To: pnh102

I thought he was wearing an a$$ on his forehead, not ash.


22 posted on 02/18/2010 6:12:31 AM PST by 999replies (Thune/Rubio 2012)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree
a Catholic dr would not perform an abortion a CINO may indeed have ashes on while performing them.
23 posted on 02/18/2010 6:13:12 AM PST by xsmommy
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To: marshmallow

If Biden thought it would help him, politically, he’d wear a Yarmulke, a turban, or a tutu.


24 posted on 02/18/2010 6:13:59 AM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree (Kenya tell me where Obama was born?)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Which Catholic Dr. do you have in mind? Name one!


25 posted on 02/18/2010 6:14:25 AM PST by pgkdan (I miss Ronald Reagan!)
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To: xsmommy
a Catholic dr would not perform an abortion

Exactly! It would be an oxymoron. As opposed to Joe Biden, who is just a moron.

26 posted on 02/18/2010 6:15:26 AM PST by TruthShallSetYouFree (Kenya tell me where Obama was born?)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

or all three at once, while drinking DD coffee ; )


27 posted on 02/18/2010 6:21:41 AM PST by xsmommy
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To: alicewonders
"Well, then it isn’t up to me to judge his intentions, the LORD will do that."

I had this discussion on another thread yesterday. Certainly I can not know what is in Biden's heart, but I can suspect that based on his past record of support for *pro-choice* causes, judges, appointees, legislation, etc. his intentions are somewhat less than sincere.

Certainly the Lord will make the final judgment, but keep in mind that the Bible does not forbid us from judging as well...only that we judge in the same manner that we would have ourselves be judged.

When a parent corrects a child, the parent is "judging" the child's behavior. I'm in no way, shape or form perfect in my practice of Catholicism, yet my public pronouncements, participation in politics, and my behavior at the voting booth fall in line with my professed faith; if they did not, I would fully expect others to question the sincerity of my faith and beliefs, and they would be perfectly right in doing so.

A lot of liberal clerics have pushed this sin of "judgmentalism", but it doesn't wash. God blessed us all with Free Will, and consequently it is our very exercise of judiciousness in the decisions we make in our lives that define who and what we become. In and of itself, exercising judgment is not a sin, but a blessing and in fact, a moral duty.

28 posted on 02/18/2010 6:25:28 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: alicewonders

I cannot locate the comment about Biden doing this every year. It’s not on the Inside Catholic thread; must have been on Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s blog, but I couldn’t locate it quickly there either. Some of the comments on WDPTRS are quite good, including one that said that the old rule of thumb was to wash the ashes off if you wanted to keep them on (because that’s evidence of pride as motive) and keep them on if you wanted to wash them off (evidence of fear of acknowledging your faith in public). Sounds like pretty good advice to me.

Another commenter pointed out that Ash Wednesday is not a day of obligation and still another that Sister would not have liked it if you did not have ashes on your forehead. Since I’m a convert and did not experience the “good old days” in Catholic school, I find these glimpses of a long-gone culture helpful.

Some of the other comments on the WPTRS thread point to real moments of witness by university students, grad students etc. as a result of wearing ashes on Ash Wednesday.


29 posted on 02/18/2010 6:26:24 AM PST by Houghton M.
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Nice turn of phrase; let’s extend it a bit:

a “yarmulke, a turban, a tartan or a tutu”


30 posted on 02/18/2010 6:28:36 AM PST by Houghton M.
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To: marshmallow

Donohue ought to be more concerned about the fact that Biden, pro-abortionist that he is, is allowed into a Catholic Church.


31 posted on 02/18/2010 6:34:26 AM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: lula

You can’t.


32 posted on 02/18/2010 6:44:30 AM PST by Aggie56
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To: Houghton M.

If the ashes are for sinners Pelosi should be covered in them from head to toe....


33 posted on 02/18/2010 6:49:22 AM PST by Kozak (USA 7/4/1776 to 1/20/2009 Reqiescat in Pace)
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To: Houghton M.
Another commenter pointed out that Ash Wednesday is not a day of obligation

OT, but I noticed that last nights 7 PM Mass was the largest crowd that I have EVER seen in my local parish -- larger than any Christmas, or Easter, Mass, or an previous Ash Wed. that I have attended there. It was a beautiful liturgy and well worth my time. And this area has not experienced any growth -- on the contrary.

Years ago we used to sing a song at the end of Mass: "They will know we are Christians by our Love..." Last night, our town knew we were Catholics by our ashes as we were lining up for fish at our local eatery.

34 posted on 02/18/2010 6:50:49 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

You too? Ours was packed. I couldn’t believe the number of people.

A lot of them left before the consecration so I have to think many were non-Catholics deciding to prepare for Lent in some other fashion.

They should have stayed and really gotten the message.


35 posted on 02/18/2010 7:05:49 AM PST by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR

We went through all verses of THREE different hymns during Communion. I’ve never seen that happen before in our Parish. Getting out of the parking lot afterwards was a long wait — reminiscent of going to church on any Sunday in 1961.


36 posted on 02/18/2010 7:08:32 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: lula
“I never understood how you can be Catholic and pro abortion.”

You can't be. Joe Biden isn't Catholic he's a slimy worm of a hypocrite politician that is using a sacred symbol of my religion for political gain.

37 posted on 02/18/2010 7:13:44 AM PST by Barb4Bush (God bless Glenn Beck!)
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To: Houghton M.

You are not obliged to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. You are obliged to fast and not eat meat.


38 posted on 02/18/2010 7:17:22 AM PST by Barb4Bush (God bless Glenn Beck!)
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To: xsmommy
or all three at once, while drinking DD coffee ; )

I would pay good money to see Lyin'Joe wearing a turban, a tutu, and a yarmulke, whilst drinking DD coffee.

I'd photograph it, videotape it, and post it all over youtube.

39 posted on 02/18/2010 7:18:04 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard; TruthShallSetYouFree

let’s expand, as someone else has, on the thread, and postulate that he is wearing all three whilst drinking DD coffee and affecting an Indian accent ; ) The best part is, while it would be impossible to conceive of Obams doing this, it is not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine Joe doing so.


40 posted on 02/18/2010 7:22:02 AM PST by xsmommy
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To: xsmommy
let’s expand, as someone else has, on the thread, and postulate that he is wearing all three whilst drinking DD coffee and affecting an Indian accent ; )

*************************

Heh. I almost missed that! :)

41 posted on 02/18/2010 7:36:21 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Certainly I can not know what is in Biden's heart, but I can suspect that based on his past record of support for *pro-choice* causes, judges, appointees, legislation, etc. his intentions are somewhat less than sincere.

I have the same suspicion.

42 posted on 02/18/2010 7:58:02 AM PST by alicewonders
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To: marshmallow

**So…. ashes in public? Give witness to your Catholic identity in a world which needs it? **

I went for this and had no adverse reactions.

The Bible tells us — Deny me in front of other people and I will deny you in front of my Father. (partaphrasing)


43 posted on 02/18/2010 8:10:03 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: indylindy

I think you missed the line above that said a person does not have to be in the state of grace (good Catholic) to receive the ashes.

The ashes are a symbol of our mortality and our sinfulness.

YOU could walk into a Catholic Church and receive the ashes on your forehead.


44 posted on 02/18/2010 8:11:58 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: indylindy
The priest or lay minister can say either of the two things while applying the ashes"
 
"Remember, man thou are dust and unto dust thou shalt return."
 
"Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel."
 
These apply to anyone who is a sinner -- including Biden.  So, do you see that you, also, might receive the ashes in a Catholic Church?

45 posted on 02/18/2010 8:15:17 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Doctors who perform abortions are not Catholic — maybe CINOs. But I doubt that there are any at all.


46 posted on 02/18/2010 8:17:10 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Ashes

47 posted on 02/18/2010 8:19:06 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: dawn53; marshmallow; All
I am not Catholic, but I find the question raised by the article to be a good one and the comments here in this thread inciteful. Here is an article I found which I think adds a lot to the subject:
48 posted on 02/18/2010 8:30:31 AM PST by Between the Lines (AreYouWhoYouSayYouAre? Esse Quam Videri - To Be, Rather Than To Seem)
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To: Between the Lines
Thanks!

Questions About Keeping the Ashes on Out in Public

Ash Wednesday in the Public Square (the phenomenon that draws in so many)
Ash Wednesday: It's Not Just For Catholics Anymore
Luxury hotel manager fired after making vulgar Ash Wednesday remarks
New York Palace Hotel boss Niklaus Leuenberger gets the door after Ash Wednesday slur
Homily for February 25, 2009 - Ash Wednesday - We just can’t live without ashes!

Remember, O Man [Ash Wednesday]
Ash Wednesday
The Day After Fat Tuesday [Ash Wednesday, Beginning of Lent]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Other Christians embrace Lent: "We are reclaiming a sense of history"

More Protestants turn to Ash Wednesday
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Ashes
Ash Wednesday
Where does Ash Wednesday get its ashes?
Every Ash Wednesday comes the question about ashes: to burn or to buy?

Pope will preside at Ash Wednesday Mass, procession; act will renew ancient tradition
Ash Wednesday: Preparing For Easter
Ash Wednesday: Our Shifting Understanding of Lent
Ash Wednesday

49 posted on 02/18/2010 8:35:24 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Barb4Bush

Yes, that would have been interesting to see what he had for lunch or dinner and how much.


50 posted on 02/18/2010 9:11:46 AM PST by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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