Ash Wednesday

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It is a good thing that ash Wednesday begins that Lenten seasons with those ashes on the forehead. Ashes are after all the traditional old testament form of lamentation, and at least one person can easily lament the success of pulling off the perfect Ash Wednesday observance. The day does come with some traditional obligations with only one of them being those ashes. Its other traditional component is its fast, and abstaining from certain foods. While not as defined as it has been in the past, the food side of the journey means a meat free Wednesday, along with a day long fast. The success of the day is surviving the food requirements, along with the Mass, prayers, almsgiving, and that beginning of self denial characterized by “giving something up.” It marks the beginning of a repentant season, and possibly the first penitent reason is not meeting the full obligations of this first day. All is not lost though, as while the day shows how easy it is to stumble it also always reminds us of the forgiveness of our sins on this path to redemption. With the forgiveness of those sins, even those committed on day one, one has the blessed opportunity of at least trying to be more perfectly observant on the Thursday after Ash-Wednesday

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