Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can we talk?

I mean, I know it's probably not good, what I'm about to say, but, well, that never stopped me before.

What's up with people and ashes?

We must have had thousands of people come through our church today for ashes since it's Ash Wednesday. If I wasn't taking a CCD class to Mass tonight, I would never have gone to Mass. I hate Ash Wednesday.

Hate is a strong word. And I don't have a problem with the day. I think it's great, actually. What I dislike is people coming in the church door for ashes and then not coming back until next Ash Wednesday.

Is it because we're giving something away?

Well, guess what, folks? We give Jesus away at every Mass. And He's way better than ashes.


Subvet said...

Look at the positive side, by going to Church even just on Ash Wednesday the possibility is increased they'll come back more frequently.

Amy Giglio said...

Subvet, you're right, of course. That's why good preaching on Ash Wednesday is essential; not just for those who frequent the pews, but for those who are there to "get ashes" to come back on Sunday to "get Jesus."

Amy Giglio said...

Subvet, you're right, of course. That's why good preaching on Ash Wednesday is essential; not just for those who frequent the pews, but for those who are there to "get ashes" to come back on Sunday to "get Jesus."

Kate P said...

My opinion is that it's not so much the "giving away stuff" as it is the love of ritual. (Think about how many people who don't practice the religion in which they were raised demand certain aspects for their weddings--church, chuppah, etc.)

Would that we could incite them to fall in love with the Lord the way they have fallen in love with the mere rituals instituted by Him. Maybe that should be our prayer during this Lent.

matthew archbold said...

One Sunday morning during Mass birds flew into the Church. And they flew around right above our heads and zoomed back up.
Well the next week they were still there. The priest quipped from the altar that he thinks that maybe he should baptize them so that way they'll only come back twice a year at Christmas and Easter.

Barb, sfo said...

Big Brother had the same question a few years ago and I have never been able to come up with a good answer.

There is a huge love of ritual--probably why daily Mass attendance tripled on St. Blaise day (throat blessing is done on the feast, in our parish, not on the nearest Sunday). It's time we capitalized on that. Yes--bring on the best homily, the best music, and bring on the welcome from those who DO show up all year.

Debbie said...

I love Ash Wednesday and all the people who come. But I always forget that it's going to be crowded that day and not just the "regular" Wednesday crowd! I even loved seeing the VP with ashes on his head this year. Shows he's got the right penitential if he could just carry it throughout the year. Or isn't that the point for us all?

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing -- Ash Wednesday is a WEDNESDAY. That means there's usually one early Mass, a school-day Mass, perhaps a noon Mass, and perhaps an evening Mass.

That means you're not going to see the people you usually see during your regular Sunday Mass, and you may also be getting a bunch of people who belong to other parishes but work near yours and are finding a Mass that fits into their commute/work schedule.

This is why automatically assuming the unusual volume or strange faces are due to A&P Catholics (as my mom used to say).

Some may be re-committing to their faith, choosing the beginning of Lent as an appropriate time for this new leg of their journey. Some may follow through, others fall by the wayside.

Again, however, why the sniping and sneering by the oh-so-holy Catholics? Why the questioning of motives, and the immediate judgment thereof?

Why the meanness and stinginess with God's grace? On what day did it all belong to you personally to dole out as you see fit?

You know, you have "no whining and be kind" up there above the comboxes, but aren't you just being whiny and unkind here yourself, and even if you whip out the "it's my blog and I can whine if I want to" excuse, do you really think God sees it that way?

I'll never understand why the people who think they're the holiest and best Catholics in the history of the world are so mean and cruel to other people who may be stumbling or struggling or only able to take faulty baby steps for the time being.

Is that what you really think God wants you to do?

What kind of humble and welcoming spirit is that?

You also say up there "Jesus loves you". In that case, why act like you think Jesus only loves perfect, holier-than-thou people like you?

Amy Giglio said...

Anon, I can't argue with you. I was frustrated and the post was uncharitable. And I left it and the comments up so that everyone can see what I am, warts and all.

Thank you for calling me out on my lack of charity. God bless you.