Yesterday a co-worker and I were talking about Lent. She stated something like “Oh, right, tomorrow’s the day you get dirty.” Um, what? Oh, ashes. Yep.
Is that toner on your forehead, ma’am?
Nope. It’s ashes.
Yep. (Conversation really happened when I lived in Alabama…not a very Catholic state.)
For whatever reason, Ash Wednesday is important to me. And I’m a self-admitted very wishy-washy Catholic. I don’t know if it’s the importance of Lent and getting a fresh start to regroup with God through prayer, almsgiving, and giving up a vice (another wishy-washy is that I don’t fast but I do go meat-free…a hungry momma is an angry momma which makes an unhappy household). Or if Ash Wednesday is my way of showing the world, “Hey, I’m trying here” by physically showing my ashes all day. Which is the exact opposite of what the church wants you to do. The priest this morning commented on making your Lenten journey yours and private.
So yes, I’m wishy-washy. Church every Sunday? HA! Have you met my (now) 3-year old? We even mention going to church and she states, “I cry a lot there. I no like it.” No kidding. My current church doesn’t have a nursery, only a cry room. And it’s packed. Full of criers. And only makes me angrier by the minute because I’m trying to pray. And then I get nothing out of church. But to say that I went. Whoopee! And although Dweej at House Unseen wrote a great post called Pro-Life Means Pro-Child about how we should treat people with children at church, my 3 year old is beyond just being a slight distraction. So for now Andy takes Stella to Sunday School, enjoys mass himself and I power through laundry and read books at home to the other two while praying the whole time that he’ll come home.
I question myself often about why I am Catholic. I’ve thought of switching religions, but then I feel guilty. Because guilt is the number one thing all good Catholics share, right? And I’m sure I’d find something “wrong” in any organized religion, so I might as well stick with what I know!
There are so many Catholic things I enjoy – tradition, the music, the values, our church friends and activities. And so many things I just don’t get – just let the priests get married, have women lead churches, quit focusing time and energy on changing things like “and also with you” to “and with your spirit” during mass and spend more time on issues like declining parishes and sex abuse scandals.
In all honesty, I don’t really think a person’s religion matters. Gasp! I think someone’s spirituality and faith and values matter more. I really enjoyed Sellabit Mum’s recent post Mormons Exposed! The whole post is just awesome, but I think she sums it up perfectly in her last paragraph:
“And I hope that no matter what religion you are. Or aren’t. That you will just teach your children about peace, love, kindness, equality and acceptance. Because I think they need a little bit more of that these days so that maybe their futures will shine a little brighter.” – Sellabit Mum