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Went off to Mass first thing this morning.  I’ve always associated Ash Wednesday services with the cold hour before dawn: Something about the chill and sense of forlornness of the time has always seemed to me to nicely reflect the emptiness of our mere material existence, and is especially fitting for the “Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.”   On the other hand, as the sun is just coming up when the service lets out, I also associate that with the first hint of our salvation through the rising of the, er, Son.

Well, anyway.

So now I will spend the rest of the day walking about my office with Father S’s very large thumbprint on my forehead.  In past years I have fretted about this, sometimes feeling ridiculous, sometimes feeling like I’m falling into the trap of the hypocrites who parade about showing off their fasting.  This year, none of these things really seem to matter to me: Although the imposition of ashes is an external thing, I find myself thinking of it entirely from an internal standpoint, if that makes sense.

As for other things, as usual I am giving up the gargle for the season (and no sneaky Sundays-are-feast-days loopholes this year).   Similarly, I am doing away with more secular musick and books and instead trying to concentrate on the sacred.   I had thought of giving up blogging, too, but decided instead that I will desist from my more, ah, frivolous sort of posting and attempt to stick to more reflective topics.  It’ll all probably be terribly dull reading, so I promise I won’t feel insulted if traffic dips.


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February 2010