I talked to my counselor this morning about how it felt having Luv with me at the ceremony. Here was a guy who had no experience with Christianity, barely any experience with New York at all, and it was my opportunity to introduce him. I was thrilled, and he was wide eyed asking all sorts of questions. When I told him, "Well, the priest puts the ashes over your forehead with his finger and makes a sign of the cross, much like in baptism," he looked at me and said, "What's baptism?"
Then there was the church. The place seemed like an exact replica of Holy Trinity.
Here's St. Joseph's outside:................then Holy Trinity:
St. Joseph's inside.................then Holy Trinity:
I felt like I'd come back home.
And the service was just the same as Holy Trinity, a young choir, a hopeful and eloquent priest, great songs, and a sense of peace. Luv sat there and asked if he should come down with me when I went for ashes, but I said they preferred you at least be Christian before you do so. I wonder if that was the right thing to do, but I suppose it'd be better if he at least knew what the ceremony meant before he joined me. As it was, he was only just beginning to understand.
I gave up something for Lent that I've been wanting to give up, which is looking at little YouTube clips for the over-18 crowd, clips of actresses like Alyssa Milano or Drew Barrymore in some B-movie about the naughty babysitter or the innocent art student seduced by vampires. Though I'd only watch this schlock for 10 minutes or so on a given night, it hasn't felt right, and shedding that for Lent feels like a step in the right direction.
I pray that you are also stepping in the right direction wherever it is you wish to go.