Ash Wednesday was last week.
I am not Catholic, nor do I observe any of these rituals (I take it back, I do observe any food and booze rituals, no matter the religion - I'm a culture whore like that). I don't give up anything for lent. I eat meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and every Friday in between because I like meat and because I can.
I love to joke with Catholics, especially a particular colleague of mine. He is a friar so that makes him a holy man, at least to me. Thank God he doesn't act like one or there might be trouble. We certainly wouldn't be friends.
I like to walk up to him and point to his forehead and say, "oh dear, it seems you have a little something there you should wipe off." I laugh, he pretends it's funny. It's an old and stupid joke, but I love it every year.
Well, this year he tried to get me. He tried to put some of his ashes on my forehead!
Can you imagine the horror! First of all, if he succeeded, I am quite sure a hole would have been burned in my forehead. Talk about a third eye.
Instead, I found myself backing away and trying to run. I couldn't have this! What would people think? That I suddenly found Jesus in the hallway?
Which reminds me of an article I read awhile back. A woman of similar religious inclination was commenting on people who approach others on the street asking if you have found Jesus. She said that once she replied, "Have you people lost him again?" I still chuckle when I hear it.
I have a great deal of respect for those with faith, regardless of their faith, but I have one simple rule.
Don't shove the dove.