Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ash Wednesday 2016

It's Ash Wednesday and before going to work today, I passed by Espiritu Santo Parish to be marked with ash. 

I remember when I was a kid, we would tease each other on the size of the cross on our forehead. Some of the kids would hide it with their hair especially if they have large crosses. While some would take off some of the ashes to minimize the smear on their forehead. We never really understood the significance of Ash Wednesday when we were kids. We follow what our parents tell us to do so we do it. But of course, through the education we get from our Religion classes or the homily of the priests explaining the whole tradition of placing an ash on your forehead, then we became educated Catholics and learned to venerate the practice.

Espiritu Santo Parish

"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Ash Wednesday signals the beginning of Lent. For most Catholics, we look forward to this miraculous event wherein our redemption from sin was delivered by the Son of Man. This is also the beginning of fasting and limiting pleasurable things. Again, taking a trip to memory lane, I remember our Lola would call our attention if we talk too loud or engaged ourselves in boisterous laughter. It's simply a No-fun-allowed-during-Ash Wednesday-and-Holy Week mode. 

Fasting was strictly observed in our household. No meat on Ash Wednesday and during the Holy Week. But the Church is not very harsh that there are exemptions to this rule. Until you are 18 years old, children are not greatly affected by fasting. Only the adults are making excuses on exempting themselves from fasting (I used to make my own excuses as well). 

Fasting does not only pertain to food intake. In this digital age, fasting would also encompass the use of social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc), no television or computer usage perhaps, and even eating or drinking your favorite dish or beverage. The things is, you get to back-off for this time only to the things that give you pleasure in order to reflect and be solemn on these holy days of the year. Today, I did not drink my favorite coffee concoction.

How about you, 
what are you willing to give up in this season of Lent? 

Have a blessed and meaningful Ash Wednesday!

Photo taken by Blackberry Passport and edited via PicMonkey

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