Cleaning The Lent Trap

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Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the starting gun of the Christian period known as Lent. For those unfamiliar with this situation I’ll break it down.

You attend mass (on your own recognizance since it isn’t a Holy Day of Obligation) then wait in line to have the ashes of year old palm fronds smeared on your forehead in the sign of the cross. It is done to remind us of our mortality – “Remember man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return (Genesis 3:19).” We are to be humbled before the 40-day fasting period that is to be done before the death of Christ, aka “Good Friday.”

I got my ashes handed to me too. However, I think my priest was using moss by the time I got there. Just shows you not to wait till 7PM services. Plus, never go to get ashes from a priest you haven’t seen in a while – particularly one straight from Ireland. They like to catch up on old times, all the while smearing ash the constancy of grease paint on your head. But I was humbled and ready for my fasting.

These days you don’t have to fast anymore. It’s not the most convenient thing to do in modern times. The Catholic Church is good like that… changing with the times, etc. Instead you can either give something up or do something out of the ordinary. I see Lent is becoming just the trial run of next year’s New Year’s Resolution – if you could last 40 days, maybe you could go a year?

Anyway, I’ve decided to read the bible cover to cover…. Get all the stuff they failed to mention in Catholic School… you know, the stuff that’ll actually get me saved rather than just keep me out of detention.

I’ve got other Lenten promises; but like wishes, if you tell someone, they won’t come true.

But Ash Wednesday is more than just the start of another holiday season. It is, in fact, a key day in deciding the fate of the presidency! And by this theory, I can safely say that John Kerry will not be president. He had the cross-blazoned upon his brow.

You see, though Ash Wednesday is celebrated by a couple of denominations of Christians, it is Catholics who are more apt to go in for it. And in all the history of America there has been only 1 Roman Catholic president – JFK.

If not consciously then subconsciously, people are afraid of a president who, in the end, has to answer to a little old man in Italy. That, and Catholics are just universally hated on a global scale. So, Kerry sporting the Catholic tattoo may not have been the best thing to do.

But who knows, miracles do happen.

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Ryan Livingston

Ryan is an artist / writer out of Melbourne, FL.

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