Remember that thou art dust

The smudge of ash on the forehead on Ash Wednesday …  in much of religious practice today, the news is always good, always brighter, better, newer.   It is refreshing to be part of a tradition of faith which is capable of  the change of gear from Mardi Gras to Ash Wednesday.  And as I knelt to receive it, I though again of the power of ritual action.  And I thought too of Ireland where everything points towards something else – in Ireland the smudge of ash would be an unintended marker of religious division.  It would mean ‘Catholic’ rather than ‘Protestant’

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