Yesterday’s Ash Wednesday Liturgy at Presentation High School was a beautiful thing. Eight hundred young women in formal dress uniform exuberantly singing an old Protestant hymn, Amazing Grace. The gym was filled to capacity- standing room only. The homily was delivered by a woman- our own resident bible scholar, Claire Foley. Peer ministers doused their fellow students with ashes. A slide show highlighted one of our Sisters of Presentation, Sr. Rachel Pinal, who works as a missionary in Somotillo, Nicaragua. The liturgy kicked off our Mission Drive month, raising money to support our Sisters of Presentation working for peace and justice in South America.
No wonder Pope Benedict is resigning. This old church ain’t what it used to be!
However, in the faculty room over lunch one would never have known that we have progressed this far as Catholics. People were still talking about “giving something up” for Lent. I assumed we were a more enlightened and progressive Catholic faculty. Is it really that simple?
During Lent, the forty days and forty nights culminating in the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are called to conversion, reconciliation, mercy, grace, self reflection and humility. How do you get there by giving up candy?
I’m just sayin’….
But the most amusing thing for me as the Senior Class Counselor was one of my naughtiest students carefully tracing a cross of ashes on my forehead and advising me to “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”.
My life is plaid.