Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I went today to St. Joseph's Church in the West Village for Ash Wednesday service this evening. It wasn't my original plan, but the more I saw young people walking by with the ashes on their foreheads, it made me feel like I wanted to be a part of it again. I wanted to get back in that spirit of penitence, and I think I also liked the idea of making my faith visible. Ash Wednesday seems to be the one day of the year when we wear our Christianity on our faces, and what's more it's perhaps one of the most Christian ways of showing our faith. It's not like carrying some t-shirt that says "Jesus Loves You" or reading the Bible on some street corner: this is the kind of sign I like-the kind that makes people squint their eyes and wonder what it's all about. Because the jesus i understand wasn't about blasting his message out on loudspeakers. He was more interested in washing people's feet. So seeing our faith in the ashes we wear seems more in line with the strong silent type that Jesus often was in his message.

Even though it was being done in a Catholic church, I felt I could return to the Catholics for this ceremony. And so I planned to go to St. Joseph's Church. During dinner beforehand, I was sitting with my Indian friend Luv, a Hindu with no knowledge of Christianity whatsoever. When I told him my evening plans, he asked for an explanation of it. So I invited him to come along and see for himself...
More tomorrow.

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