Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, a season of fasting and prayer.  Later this morning, I’ll be joining the millions of people around the world that will line up in church to receive the ashen cross on my forehead.
With few exceptions, my ashes are usually smudges that are open to interpretation.

As a high school student, I attended Quigley South Prepartory School (and Seminary) where deciphering ashen marks was a yearly event, out of view of the clergy of course.  Back then, we weren’t clever enough to or, perhaps dared not record and catalog our findings.  Today we have the internet. How does your smudge compare against the Chart of Ashes below? Don’t feel too guilty about it, it’s the work of Catholic teacher Bill Donaghy.

catholic-guide-to-ashes-extended

As for the practice of giving up something lent, the current top 10 list (per the OpenBible Twitter Lent Tracker) includes:

1.    social networking
2.    twitter
3.    alcohol
4.    chocolate
5.    swearing
6.    meat
7.    sweets
8.    soda
9.    coffee
10.   fast food

See the full top 100 list here.