Bill, aka the Crazy Clock Guy, aka Hey You (tallguy) wrote,
Bill, aka the Crazy Clock Guy, aka Hey You
tallguy

God puts me in my place

I went to Mass this morning, and received the ashes on my forehead. This wasn't some quick smudge of dirt; it was a clearly inscribed black cross. I had been very careful today to avoid rubbing or scratching it. Truth be told, I wanted to see how people reacted to this visible sign of my faith.

Well, at some point this afternoon, I must have unconsciously rubbed my forehead. The guy who sits across from me just pointed that out. I went to the bathroom, and sure enough, my black ash cross was now a gray streak of dirt across the left side of my head.

I was annoyed at this, and mentioned to my coworker how I had wanted to preserve this ash cross through the rest of the day. He asked me why that was so important to me, and as I answered him, I realized that it wasn't a matter of penance, it was a matter of pride. The ash cross was supposed to be a mark of humility and repentance, and here I was trying to show it off, treating it like carefully applied stage makeup.

I was humbled by that thought, and will try to spend this evening focusing on the real purpose of Lent; a time to prostrate ourselves before God with a penitent and contrite heart.
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