Diaries Magazine

Ash Wednesday

Posted on the 18 February 2015 by Shangi @lifefruitbasket
As I was sashay shantey-ing my way around town, I was getting a lot of comments from people who were kind enough to point out that I had "dirt" on my forehead. After explaining to the nth person  that I wasn't rolling around mud but in fact, I am Catholic and it is ash from Ash Wednesday, I realized that not everyone knows what this tradition is about.
I'll spare you the holier than thou babble but for the sake of educating those who do not practice it, Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent, and the purpose of Lent is to take the time for atonement, prayer and penance before the celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday. Putting the ash in the shape of the cross on the forehead signifies repentance of sin, and the general abstinence of meat every Friday is observed. Nowadays people abstain from something that they like to indulge in, aside from meat...like breaking a hard habit (smoking, etc.), or giving up other indulgences like ice cream or Facebook (yes, people really do it.) for Lent.
When the ashes are placed, the priest says, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." It's a lot to take in but it also makes you reflect and be contemplative of how precious life is, how everything has a beginning and an end. I think about what I have done so far, the good and the bad---which of them will I be remembered by when I am gone? Have I apologized for the bad things that I've done? I know it's hard to say sorry, what more to ask forgiveness for our sins---but we gotta do it to better ourselves. You don't have to be a Catholic or a Christian to understand this feeling because I know we all seek for the same answers to the same questions.
Say hello to my fat fingers.
Ash Wednesday
I say not eating bacon in exchange for Jesus dying for us is the least that I could do. Oh crispy bacon, do not tempt me.

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