Skip to comments.Ash Wednesday
Posted on 03/03/2003 5:35:48 PM PST by Salvation
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Below is a reflection on Ash Wednesday I (NWU Army ROTC) wrote for our campus' conservative newspaper. If anyone is interested, nothing illicit I hope:
This Wednesday, 9 February 2005, marked the beginning of the Christian Holy season of Lent. Lent is the forty days of preparations that precede the Easter Triduum. Through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving the Christian begins the Lenten journey, preparing for the Passion of Good Friday and the Resurrection of Easter Sunday. Catholics mark themselves with ash as a sign of penance and of mortality.
Lent is a season of penance and contrition for our sins. As a society, we have our faults. Most prominent is the Culture of Death that attacks the dignity of the human person and sadly our society has fully embraced. There are the deliberate murders of one and a half million children in abortion during the last three hundred and sixty-five days. There are the inequities of a criminal justice system where justice is not always blind, the guilty not always punished, and the innocent sometimes convicted and even executed. There is the sacrifice of human life in the form of embryonic stem cell research, in the name of progress. A society filled with violence toward one another and ourselves, where drugs destroy our bodies, and sexual perversity demeans our dignity. There is Corporate Greed that allows CEOs and others to exploit those who rely on them in order to line their pockets. There is the assault on traditional values in regard to the human person, relationships, marriage, and the family. We are not an innocent society. Yet, Lent carries another message as well.
Lent is a season of Joy in Thanksgiving for the mercy which we do not deserve, but we receive from above. It is a season where we can turn away from our sins and our faults. We can abandon the Altar of Death. We can turn away from our pride, our lusts, our greed, our anger, our jealousy, our gluttony, our sloth. We can turn away. We can joyfully leave these shortcomings. We can embrace life. We can embrace the Culture of Life that treats every human person as deserving of dignity and respect. We can honor life from conception to natural death. We can seek mercy and change our ways. We can.
During this Lent, we also recognize the twilight of life. John Paul II, the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church for more than twenty-five years is approaching the end of life. His journey shows us our own mortality, but also offers a lesson that our society is loathed to listen too, but we must. John Paul II has taught against communism, materialism, and the attack on life itself. Now, he is teaching us a more important lesson than anything previous. He is teaching us, how to die. John Paul II is teaching us how to go with dignity to our Maker, not on our terms, but on Gods. Even life at the moment of death, wracked by Parkinsons Disease and old age, is worthy of dignity and respect. It is not our place to decide when our lives are ended, it is Gods choice, John Paul is showing that to us.
Ash Wednesday is a reminder of our mortality. It has a lesson for us, if we listen. Lent is a time to recall our sins and be sorry for them. We are not innocent. Lent is a time of joy, because mercy is available to us and we can turn away from our faults. We can. Will we?
When I lived in NYC, virtually all of my black Protestant friends used to go to receive ashes before work...
Catholic or not, the thought was there and everybody understood it.
BTTT for Ash Wednesday -- tomorrow!
Ash Wednesday, 2006, BTTT!
BTTT on Ash Wednesday, February 21, 2007!
I was wondering if non-Catholics could recieve the blessed ashes today as well. I searched on the internet & found a website from the Georgia Tech Catholic Center. It says, “Since the imposition of Ashes is a Sacramental, non-Catholics may also recieve Blessed Ashes.” If you would like to check this website out ourself, it is “http://cyberbuzz.gatech.edu/catholic/tidings/1999/0214.html"