February 6, 2008

Ashes and Irony

Another year has gone by and, as I begin my 16th Lent, I am still convinced that the whole ritual of Ash Wednesday is an act of irony. We proclaim the good news and then do the opposite on purpose, just to show that we haven't lived up to the Gospel. It's all in last year's post, so I won't write it out again like I just thought of it.

As Francis is said to have said, "let us begin again to do good, for up to now we have done little, or even nothing."


Tausign said...

I read your last years post. Is the Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday an irony or contradiction? Perhaps in one sense only...that Jesus is talking about our personal acts of penance on a day when penance is raised to a liturgical act.

Only recently have I grasped the significance of calling the sacrament of penance a liturgical act as opposed to a personal encounter with the priest and the Lord. Here is an essay by Fr. Peter Fink, SJ that draws the matter out very well. http://www.naal-liturgy.org/seminars/formation/fink.pdf

I'm inclined to take this up as post on my blog shortly.

Charles of New Haven said...

Brilliant! Fr. Fink was one of my teachers,for, among other courses, confession!

Mike Almeida said...

'Turn away from sin and believe the Gospel' sounds to me so similar to Mary's 'do whatever He tells you'. Just by themselves, the best homilies.