I used to be very religious. I was a fairly devout Catholic who was an alter server for many years and even contemplated devoting my life to helping others in the name of God. Then I went to college. Seeds of doubt were planted after a religious class or two and in the years that followed I became less of a believer. I didn't flat out stop going to church until I moved to Albany. There are many factors that lead me to my current atheistic-leaning state of being (if you ask my mother The Divorce is what made me Godless and NOTHING ELSE contributed to my educated decision but that is another post for another time [like later today perhaps]) but the biggest factor is that I really don't believe in the after-life. Anywhoodle, the point is I used to love the Jesus.
My senior year of high school my friend Pamela and I were feeling ambitious and decided to get our ashes before school and then get some bagels from Dunkin' Donuts. Nothing like starting our day with some Jesus and some carbs. Well, we get to school freshly ashed and ready to eat it up when most-devout-Catholic-ever Patrick curtly reminded us that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and we were now old enough participate in the fasting. Awesome. Not a second later my friend Erin looks at me and as she licks her finger to wipe my face (!) says, "Don't move! You have something on your forehead." I dart her saliva and tell her what exactly is going on with my face. She thinks I'm crazy.
Now a little cranky and very hungry I make my way to German class where my classmate turns to talk to me and jumps. "What's on your face?" "Ashes." "Of what!?" "Dead relatives." She was about to shit her pants when I tell her I'm joking and that the ashes are made of last year's palms from Palm Sunday. We share a laugh and my teacher gives us a quick lesson on Germany and its Aschermittwoch traditions. The rest of my day was incident free.
That year I gave up swearing for Lent but a few days into my personal trial I had a little issue with an ex-boyfriend and I easily slipped back into swearing like a trucker. So much for Godliness. Am I right? I wish better luck to those who are participating in Lent this year. Really, I think it's commendable that you are taking these 40 days to better yourself as a person. It's great to test your boundaries every once and a while. You may surprise yourself.