Sorry I'm a bit behind...it's been a busy couple of days.
I'm one of those people that believes if you are going to go through the trouble of getting ashes on Ash Wednesday, you should do it early enough in the day so that you wear them for more than an hour. Needless to say, I'm not a big fan of evening Ash Wednesday services. It took me a while and I had to cash in some comp time from work, but I managed to find a 7 am Mass sort of near work. I wanted a noon Mass but that was asking the impossible.
After a brief GPS mishap (the GPS was off...), I finally found the church. However I found the back of the church, not the front. When the church is a big square with doors on 3 sides, is there really a front?
There was no music at the 7 am Mass.
A significant part of our Faith is expressed in symbols. Sacramentals are powerful reminders of God's grace that are imparted in the Sacraments. They are a reminder of God's presence in our life (another homily about presence? Really?) Ashes have many meanings. They are a way to look at life, renew and give us a greater awareness of presence (Clearly waiting 4 days to write this up was a mistake...it was coherent at the time). There is an understanding we need God; a dependence, mercy when asked. Ash is a symbol of morality and the passing nature of life. A life with God. We depend on God. We are penitent with hope and God is waiting. There are many uses of ashes. They can kill moss, melt ice, deskunk pets. In terms of Lent, ashes are used to make soap, hide stains and clean marble. In Lent we undertake practices of fast, prayer and almsgiving to help remove the dirt on us and to give luster to our soul (My soul is more diamond like...its *sparkly* not like a pearl). The Mercy of God. Ashes clear off the grim and restore the luster to the soul. Ashes give us traction when we are going the wrong way and not hearing God. We have a dependence on God. We need to push away what distracts us. We are at the beginning of a journey and have a chance to clear away what is not of God.
Father used EP II.
Our Lady of the Holy Souls
It looks like one is sticking its tongue out.
View From the Back Pew!
Well I think it is VIII...
I'm going to hell for what I see when I look at this...
The Holy Family
St. Teresa of Lisuax
Venerable Catherine McAuley (Apparently the Sisters of Mercy came here...)
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
St. Benedict and St. Scholastica
St. Francis of Assisi
St. John Vianney
St. Martin de Porres
St. Thomas More
Pope John Paul II ( I think....)
Attack of the Holy Spirit
I want to say it is the Resurrection
It really looks like Jesus is being lynched...
Flaming Star of David
Our Lady of the Holy Souls