February 22, 2012

Seriously? Ashes?

King Ashole
I didn't realize it was Ash Wednesday until I noticed droves of people walking around looking like someone had crushed a cigarette out on their faces. Not being Catholic (I'm agnostic), I had to look up the true reason why people still carry on this archaic tradition.

One description wrote:
The act of putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God. Far from being a merely external act, the Church has retained the use of ashes to symbolize that attitude of internal penance to which all the baptized are called during Lent. —

Another book suggested:
The use of Sacrifice Beans may help children to keep track of their Lenten penances. Some families begin this activity (with undyed beans!) on Ash Wednesday and then use the collected beans to cook a penitential bean dish for Good Friday at the end of Lent.

Does ANY of that make sense to anyone??

The fact that seemingly educated adults still carry on this antiquated ritual seems really crazy to me.

Not wanting to feel left out I ran home, lit a paper towel on fire (almost setting off the fire alarm) and then smeared the cooled ashes on my forehead. I didn't have any burnt palm leaves lying around.

I snapped this with my point-&-shoot. All black and white photos of the Empire State building look like they were shot in the 1940s to me. I love that.

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