Today is Ash Wednesday in the Catholic religion. Ash Wednesday appears very intimidating to those who don’t know what it is and what it does. You’re doing what to my forehead?? Spreading ashes from burnt up palms? WHAT?
But it’s not about that. It’s about renewal, a recall back to our mortality. One of my old domains was memento mori: remember, you must die. All men are born owing a debt, and God will collect eventually. What matters is what we do with the time we are given until then. It’s humbling to submit yourself to that. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent: an opportunity to face change.
I’ve explored other religions. Somehow, I always come back to the faith of my forefathers. I’m a cradle Catholic. Granted, not a very good one. I’ll be honest: I haven’t given a confession since my confirmation.
It’s hilarious to me that people group Catholics with evangelicals and are clutching their pearls in shock when Pope Francis says what he says. Catholics do believe in the Big Bang. It was hypothesized by a Jesuit priest, people. I’m pro-life myself, but I will fight to the death for your right to be pro-choice. I’ll pray for you when you need it. That’s simply who I am.
We went to St. Joseph, Husband of Mary today for Ash Wednesday mass. They sang Hosea during mass. Perhaps it was the vestiges of this past week but I had to hold back tears when I heard my favorite lyrics from that song:
Long have I waited for
Your coming home to me
And living deeply our new lives
Talk about humbling. This is why I love music. The melodies and lyrics you heard when you were a kid are all still there. You never forget them. They’re in your heart and in your head for eternity, even if you haven’t heard them in years. Maybe you don’t know them all but you’ll find the words at the right moment.
I feel a pull back towards the church. Everything that I have done (or not done) has all come to a head. It’s a sign.
Ma and I are going to do the Stations of the Cross on Fridays. She says her mom and dad would take her and her siblings to do the Stations of the Cross and visit 10 churches back in the P.I. I think this will be a wonderful tradition for us to start (without the visiting 10 churches because that’s a LOT of driving!).
And now I open it up to my studio audience (haha): are there any traditions from your childhood that you do to this day? Maybe not religious but maybe something that your parents tried to instill in you and you always fall back on it? Let me know in the comments below!