Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Ashes: It's a conscience thing.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. In my opinion, this occasion brings more non-practicing/non-believing Catholics to Church second to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Yeah, I said that. Just now.

Why is this? I mean, why so many NON-PRACTICING Catholics? I ponder the question and here are a few possibilities.
1. It's a cultural thing. It's like getting a stamp on your hand to get in the club. A big ash mark on your forehead shows that you're a Catholic. The difference is that you actually have to pay to enter Proud Larry's to see The Heartless Bastards or Blue Mountain. We just let you in.
2. Your parents or some Catholic makes you feel like you have to go. Trust me. ASH WEDNESDAY IS NOT A HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION. However, how many Catholics-in-the-know or parents see to it that you go to Mass on the honest ta goodness Holy Days? For the perplexed, those days are:
January 1 (Feast of Mary the Mother of God)
August 15 (Feast of the Assumption of Mary)
November 1 (All Saint's Day)
December 8 (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
December 25 (Christmas)
And, SUNDAYS are obligatory as well.
3. The Catholic has come to realize that his life is a void and this season of repentance will begin his journey to spiritual repair. Yeah, right.
Ashes to ashes, monk to monkey, if you don't get ashed you'll look like a flunky.*
 4. You look bad when you tell people you're Catholic and then you have no ash to show for it. Like the old hymn, "They'll know we are Christians by our ash, by our ash...."
5. You get the smudge so it's like a total holy okey dokey from the Church. It's like absolution, validation and baptism all at once. Like a USDA stamp.
6.It makes you look good. Not "good" like hot or attractive but good like you are a pure-hearted clean person. Like wearing a "MADD" tshirt or having a "True Love Waits" sticker on your car, it makes you look like a good person. Just like a tshirt or bumper sticker. So believable.

If this somehow gets the attention of the non-practicing, please, please at least refrain from Communion until you've made a Confession. And if you go to Confession, make it sincere. Catholicism is already being made light of. We don't need "our own" to add fuel to the fire. More of our own, that is.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Seriously.

Do that.

*David Bowie anyone? Anyone?
** He didn't say that. He said something like it. But not that.