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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

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I must say, I love Ash Wednesday ... you're right that it's not a holy day of obligation and that makes it all the better.

I agree that it's easy to get turned off by the hypocrisy of it all, but the thing I really love is that it is the quintessential catholic holiday to me - there is nothing secular about it: no gifts, no cards, no parties, no plans. Just a day to relish being Catholic.

Even the readings tug at what I think is the core - Jesus is saying "don't be obvious when you fast" after which we then immediately go and put ashes on our heads which always leads to questions and admitting what the whole day is about.

It's the paradox that is at the heart of catholicism, that what we do is not the issue but where our hearts are is. Having ashes, not having ashes ... either way you can be in the right frame of heart or not.

The thing is that it is not as simple as "do this and don't do that" but rather a challenge to strive to live better in whatever way you can.

And that is also what I love about Lent. New Year's resolutions suck because we all know how hard it is to keep something up for a year, but Lent is only 6 weeks. Very doable. So we get to have a little rehab away from our little questionable parts of our lives. At the end we get to look back and see whether this thing was really hindering us from being all that we want to and try to change or is it just a little sacrifice and we'll give it up again next year when the time comes.

In the end, I think going to mass or not is largely irrelevant. Going through the thought process and making a decision that you feel is in line with who you want to be - that's where it's at.

Your words speak volumes, and I am listening...

First of all, just because someone drives a nice car doesn't mean that they don't appreciate the mass, and second of all, not everyone has the opportunity to change the fact that there are horrible things going on in the wold. I do what I can to fix things that I know are wrong, but I put my faith in God, and thats why I go to Mass. I'm in know waying saying that I haven't committed sins, but God is not here to punish, he holds his arms open to everyone regardless. Maybe you should think about that.

This pro-choice, gay advocate, planned parenthood working, fornicating, Catholic went to services yesterday. I like going. I like the ceremony, I like the rituals. Did I snicker when they made remarks about "hypocrites"? Yeah. I hope one day the church will be an accepting and loving place for all. I am a loving Catholic and one day my church will be a loving Catholic church.

yea, i missed church too. on purpose too.

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