Why Ash Wednesday? Why Ashes?

On Ash Wednesday Catholics proclaim their Faith in the public square as they go about marked with a black cross.

Still, as praiseworthy as it is for Catholics to uphold the feast of Ash Wednesday by making a point of receiving ashes, it can easily become merely a pious habit, “something we Catholics do.”

Yet, like everything in our Catholic Faith, the liturgical feast of Ash Wednesday and the custom of ashes has a rich history, deep meaning and rich symbolism.

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The custom initiated back in the early Middle Ages when repentant public sinners submitted to forty days of penance. The bishop blessed the hairshirts, and the ashes which, after biblical penitential custom, were poured over the sinners’ heads. In time, all Christians whether public or private sinners, wished to benefit from the practice.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the season of Lent symbolic of the forty days Our Lord fasted in the desert. Occuring forty six days before Easter, it is consequently moveable-as early as Februay 4 and as late as March 10.

The ashes applied to the forehead, made from the palms of the previous year’s Palm Sunday, are blessed, perfumed with incense, and hydrated with a little holy water or oil as a binding agent. Thus treated, the ashes are considered a Sacramental.

Ash as a Sacramental

Though sacramentals do not ipso facto operate Grace as the sacraments, they are helpers to the sacraments in that they are visible, touchable, hearable signs that help predispose our souls to Grace.

Thus for example, when we enter a church,dip our finger in the fount and bless ourselves, we are making use of a sacramental, holy water, to place ourselves in a prayerful mode. With the right disposition, and a short prayer of contrition, holy water can even remit venial sin.

The Catholic Church is replete with sacramentals, holy objects, words and rituals that we can see, touch and hear to help convey to our spirit an attitude of openess to Grace.

The ash used on Ash Wednesday, accompanied by the words “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return,” or, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” places us in a disposition of penance and humility, which is the attitude needed for a fruitful, Grace-filled Lent.

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Sacramentals are specially potent when well explained to children who are so visual and touch oriented. They are a powerful means to convey the unseen mysteries of our Faith to their young minds.

  • Dasgeiss

    I have no problem with ashes on the forehead but pouring incense all over the altar, books, people seems a bit paganistic. Like is the altar or the book now holier because it got smoke on it?

    • MS

      Incense is traditional to the Church back to the Old Testament, to Moses and Aaron, even before then . . . the word “theophany” and signs of the Lord come to mind . . . it’s an external sign of an internal grace . . . one of my favorite images of angels is at a Leawood, Kansas church called Our Lady of the Nativity. Angels are seen with the thurifer and incense, symbolic as in Revelation of prayers rising up to God.

    • Stan.

      Burning incense symbolizing our Prayers going up to God

      • delbromm

        So true; as at a funeral Mass, the Priest incenses the casket of the dead with the smoke rising along with our prayers, the soul of the deceased up towards Heaven. In my eyes, a beautiful witness to God!

    • Rafael Morales

      Incense was used to get rid of bad smells

      • Rosech Levy

        Rafael, true and fragrant oils to cover odors and that brings to mind how oil was used to cleansed our Lord’s feet and perfume them, and oil in those days was not a cheap item either.

    • Rosech Levy

      The altars always carry a part of a saint and therefore are honored by incense, so lighten up. It is a holy altar for that reason and is part of when a new church is built, the Bishop comes to put in the holy part and blesses the altar. Perhaps you have never seen this act, but it is holy and interesting. Incense has been around practically from Day 1 and also done in other cultures, so relax and enjoy hopefully a beautiful scent (altho some incense isn’t as nice as others).

  • Doug Brown

    How can a conscientious Catholic participate when there is a false Pope in Rome?

    • Julid

      Hello Doug, As with all “uncomfortable” things going on with our Holy Catholic Church right now, it is wise not to “throw the baby out with the bath water”. I try to keep my thoughts this way: our church is still the one founded by Christ and left to Peter as the first Pope. Our church holds the “fullness of the Christian faith”. It has also been the purveyor of Truth, canonized the Bible and Saints, the founder of our greatest institutions like hospitals and colleges as well as the inspiration and means to commission the most beautiful cathedrals, basilicas, works of art and music the world has ever known. All that being said, is it any wonder that this is where Satan is going to attack with the most vengeance?

      Currently in our world we are seeing the forces of good and evil become more clear than they have been for centuries. The line is being drawn, each of us is going to be determined by God that we are either for Him or against Him. The Pope is not God, nor is he Christ. You will only be short changing yourself to not participate in our Church’s Traditions and Sacraments. These things bring you closer to our most Holy God and in turn bring you closer to holiness.

      • Drgeraldine Sanjay

        True!
        All the more reason for us to stand together & fight the enemies of the Church.Both within & outside the Church.
        Remember the fate of Judas Iscariot.

      • BURYWEYMIER48

        Thank you for your reply. The pope is also not the Church. It is too bad that we have to go through this but as you said, the Catholic Church still has the fullness of the faith. You are also correct that this is where Satan will attack with the most vengeance. Our Blessed Mother told us this would happen at Quito back in 1610 as well as Fatima. We need to have confidence in God and Our Lady that they will bring us through these times as she promised. (The Reign of Mary). It really helps us to go to the Latin Mass because there are no abuses like the ones that occur in the Novus Ordo. It is also the Mass that has been in existence until Vat II so much more profound. I find that it really helps get us through these difficult times. (Also, keep in mind that there have been many bad popes, as in Catherine of Sienna’s time) and we are still here today!

      • MJSoy

        As Peter said to Jesus, “… to whom shall we go?” Regardless of the piety of the Pope, or the parish priest, for that matter, sacraments that are performed by a validly ordained priest are valid. And, the sacraments of the Church are means by which God bestows grace upon us.

      • Donna

        If we stop capitalizing “satan” and stay close to God in prayer, we have nothing to fear from the father of lies. he has no power. I agree with what you say here, however. Thank you.

    • john

      Find a true Catholic Priest who holds to the traditional Catholic Faith as it was taught prior to Vatican II who also celebrates the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Go there and you can participate.

      • whawell

        There was nothing inherently wrong with Vatican II. It simply restated what the Church already believed in more understandable language. The Great Pope John II relied on Vatican II to further shed light on the Church’s teachings. What was regrettable is that many clergyman wrongly applied Vatican II teachings.

        • Vicky

          I am annoyed about all the above pronunciations on Our Dear Pope Francis, a holy man. Some of you do not fear God. Exactly the same thing happened to Jesus when He came and ate with sinners and so on. They called Him the prince of demon Beelzebub, a gluttony and so on. Here Pope Francis has come to make us see charity in the way that we should and here without fear of God you begin to blaspheme. If you think something is going wrong, tell me how much you have committed it to fasting and prayers. Or are you a mechanical catholic. Or do you think that God is mechanical as you. Don’t you believe in a God that answers prayers? Or do you want to be another Luther. Pray Pray Pray.Be careful before you lead innocent once astray. Mat 18:6, Mk 9:42

          • moira mcloughlin

            May God bless you Vicky, xoxo

          • joann vale

            I totally agree with you, dear Vicky and Moira! Thought the American TFP was a genuine Catholic movement, supporting our Holy Father, St. Peter’s successor, until I read these comments! I will unsubscribe from their site asap! This has taught me to not take things at face value. The devil is alive and relishing in the attacks on our Holy Father Francis, who is only reflecting the work of Jesus! Lent is the perfect opportunity to fast, pray and have faith in the Holy Father and the Holy Spirit! May protect our Pope Francis and true Catholicism. “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen”

          • whawell

            Vicky, I agree with you. We need to support our Pope with prayer. Once weekly I attend a Marian cenacle where the rosary is recited along with additional prayers and readings. Additionally we are reminded at each and every meeting to keep the Holy Father in prayer. That said, the Pope is not beyond criticism, I mean constructive criticism. For example, he has created a lot of unnecessary misunderstanding and confusion with his off-handed public remarks. His words are often used by the enemies of the Church to cause great harm. For instance, last year and the year before we witnessed proponents of so-called “gay marriage” inappropriately make effective and successful use of his words to bring about the legal reality of devil-inspired “gay marriage” in the United States. It seems the Pope is oblivious to our concern for the need to be more circumspect, and yes, even more scripted if necessary. Words and their timing have a tremendous impact that can either be beneficial or detrimental.

          • Vicky

            We need to interpret well what the Pope said.Previously the church will shot out someone forever if they are divorced or even homosexuals and literally close the door.They were not allowed to receive Holy communion. How then do they get saved. Pope Francis ( like Jesus and the women at the well John 4 oor even Mary Magdalene’s story) is saying that each one should be viewed individually and not to be shot out totally. Don’t forget we are to see Jesus in everybody and not see devil BECAUSE we are made out of the image and likeness of God Almighty and our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We have to reach out to as many as possible even those in the gutter even me a sinner. We have to be careful

          • whawell

            I see both sides to the question of whether someone who is in a relationship to someone other than the person to whom they are married. Like the Pope I do not want to judge the state of that person’s soul. However the Church has always held that if a person has committed a mortal sin, he or she must confess or intend to confess at the next opportunity this sin with the firm resolution of not committing this sin. This is true whether the sin is sexual in nature or not. I recognize there are situations that can be very difficult without causing harm. In those situations we must trust that God has an alternative plan of salvation for that person. To invite people in an objective state of mortal sin to receive Holy Communion without the grace of sacramental confession would almost certainly create a lot of confusion and render the need to confess obsolete.

            Keep in mind, popes are human. Our current pope often reminds us of that. Thus it is very possible for the Pope to render an erroneous opinion that is not binding upon the Church.

          • Vicky

            You and do not know if they have received that penitential sacrament. It is left only between God, the church and the individual to decide. Nothing to do with us like the time of old where a parishioner can report to the priest a person in a state of mortal sin and the person is totally condemned. That’s exactly what Pope Francis like Jesus inthe case of the woman in the well is trying to correct. He is leading the church in the perfect part of the gospel. Jesus Christ had problem then Pope Francis will also be misunderstood. We all in this lent should pray for discernment. Happy ash Wednesday

          • Vicky

            Don’t forget the grace God bestowed on him as a leader of His holy church. The Pope is infallible excathedral. Read his encyclical. We will know when we have a bad pope. This one is not. Be rest assured. Even if when we WILL have a bad pope be still trusting. See how God saved the church through holy men and women of old. BE NOT AFRAID.

          • Aleteia

            It might be your dear pope Francis, for me is comrade Bergoglio, a cultural-Marxist, liberation theologian who infects the air of the Church. Jesus is God, while the present day pope – is a sinner human. Beside, Benedict XVI still lives, so he is the pope. A mechanical Christian doesn’t think, you seem to follow blindly Francis, I don’t because I am not mechanical.

        • john

          Vatican II is heretical. V2 did not simply “restated what the Church already believed in more understandable language” as you wrote. The Magisterium of the Catholic Church cannot contain error and if V2 were are true council and not heretical, error and falsehood would be found in the Magisterium.
          I will ask you as I have asked others above: Do you believe that muhammadans worship the same God as Catholics? Jorge Bergoglio believes they do. So does Josef Ratzinger. And so did Karol Woytila. And V2 states that muhamaddans worship the same God in contradiction to what the Catholic Church has always believed and taught. So how about it…Do you agree with them?

    • Rosech Levy

      Doug, you are not alone because many of us do not recognize Francis as anything but an alien as pope. When he speaks, it comes straight out that he is a communist and I often think like Obama, a puppet. He has poisoned the Church and even the Italian Catholic sense something is wrong with Francis on the throng. The poison has spread here as well as bishops took money from Obama to care for invaders on our soil, so in our parish they are considered the most important and we are not. Fortunately, I go for the 3 main parts of the Mass that are essential,and the rest I tune out and leave as soon as feasible. We have had many “wrong” pope before but in today’s world, it is definitely a good thing. Will he be the last pope? Don’t know and don’t care because I have taught the Bible in two languages and do not nitpick to find something that underlines what I think or want. But let’s pray on and continue going to Mass and receiving our Lord and Savior via the host. All will be well in the long run. I note some are scorning you and calling you names, but that is their problem and not yours or mine.

      • Cher

        Are you calling the Holy Spirit false also!
        The Holy Spirit placed Pope Francis in his position read about your Catholic faith before you start criticizing especially our Pope! The successor of Peter who Jesus appointed to be the first pope. Pray for the pope. As I will pray for you for your soul to be saved!
        Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus.
        Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

        • Rosech Levy

          How can you be sure the Holy Spirit did what you say? Has God in any way told you? Please understand we have had bad popes before and many times they were politically appointed. You might wish to get a great history of our Church from its founding by Christ and what it has seen and done for 2000K years. Grow up and don’t speak nonsense without foundation. I pray for everyone, you, Francis, etc. because that is why I was taught and that I like to do. Even my non-Catholic friends and patients want me to pray for them. My soul hopefully the same as yours has been saved but I will not obey Francis until and when he speaks ex cathedra which is when we must and that has happened a very few times in our Church’s history. Best to get informed, Cher, and I will pray that you will do so. By the way I always love to pray Our Father, Glory Be and the Hail Mary as a daily thing in my life. I meditate and I teach meditation as well as contemplation and have taught the Bible in English and Spanish, and may I suggest the best Bible is The Jerusalem Bible as translated from Aramaic, the language of Jesus. So, be not so ready to judge any one as that is God’s job and not ours.

          • Rita

            You are correct, “only when he speaks ex cathedra.” Pope Francis is saying and doing very bad things but we must remember God is in charge. Jesus stood before Pilate and said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above.” The Bible also says, “Return, O ye revolting children, saith the Lord…And I will give you pastors according to my own heart…” I think, because His people are behaving so badly, God is allowing this, for now…

            I only attend the Tridentine Mass, look for locations at sspx.org or fssp.org. God Bless.

        • Aleteia

          The exorcist of Rome, father Gabrielle Amorth said before he died, that the smoke of satan has entered the Vatican. We are sinners, and satan gains authority. The church will prevail but evil is very active.

      • Doug Brown

        Well stated. I am a new Catholic, having spent years intellectually working my way out of a persuasive and convinced Reformed Calvinism. My family would not attend the Easter Mass following RCIA because I was deemed not just a family traitor, but heretical as well, becoming a major embarrassment and disappointment, my family consisting of preachers, writers and editors, extending well back into America’s Abolitionist days.
        Francis, the false, has created a no-man’s land, an area impermissible to foot travel, in that people that worked so hard and so seriously to obtain full communion into the Catholic Church have been betrayed, slapped in the face, spit upon. A false pope is still the head pastor of that church. As Emerson spoke of a representative man, so there must be many speaking, and feeling, this same thing. Francis is destroying the Church, every bit as much as Obama introduced into America an open acceptance of impiety and immorality, something not easily repaired. Returning to the Protestant fold is not an option, yet attending Mass under these circumstances isn’t either. It is an extremely uncomfortable no-man’s land. Being familiar with Fatima, and the prophecies of Saint Francis, I cannot help think the days spoke of are currently upon us.

        • Rosech Levy

          Doug, I am glad you are happy to be a Catholic as I have continued to be. We only have to listen to and follow when a pope speaks ex cathedra, but otherwise he can spout and we can ignore. Another reason why I like being a Catholic is that we can discuss, reason, complain, etc. because we are human beings and God gave us a mind and a will. I don’t want not to attend Mass but as I said, the 3 main things are important and I don’t want to miss out on my communion host either. As mentioned, we have had bad popes before, but God’s church lives on no matter because of you and me and others like us. Let’s pray for each other and our Church.

        • Millicent Omondi

          Hello Doug and Rosech! I am listening to you and am wondering if you are catholics or anti-catholics. If you were really, really catholics, you would never have spoken as you have; and just beyond Catholicism, what you have said against the pope is unchristian, without charity in your hearts!!! “True Christians will be known by their fruits!” And how much more catholics!!! Are you clean? Are you angels; you make me think the very opposite!!! Your very words tell the kind of people you are; and they can never be the words of a Christian ( a follower of Christ!); so make your examination of conscience! Think deeply in your hearts; are you truthful? Then show us by your actions of light and love, by being charitable in how you speak about the Holy Father; You have no idea and will never know what it takes and how many sacrifices that man has undergone in journeying with the Church. May you be forgiven and one day, may you CONFESS of all the evil pronunciations you have made against the Holy Father, our Shepherd. One more thing, open your hearts and minds! I can’t believe you share in the table of Christ, eating his body and drinking his blood, then speak such kind of nonsense about the Holy Father. Sorry to say: it is hypocrisy and not being staunch catholics. And please, guard against being fanatics, and I will not be surprised if you already are!!! God forgive you both!!!

          • Barbara Wells

            I truly believe YOU ARE THE FANATIC! Rosech Levy speaks the truth and has more charity in his or her heart than you evidently have.

          • Aleteia

            You seem to be a self-righteous fanatic, not open to an authentic discussion.

        • Susan Shelko

          Doug, First, welcome home. You were blessed to be led home to the Church that Christ himself established. If your family mocks and rejects you, remember that Jesus himself was also mocked and rejected and betrayed and spit upon and struck and whipped and crucified. You are in the company of Christ. If they treated the Master such, how then will they treat the Master’s servants? Jesus was betrayed by a disciple — with a kiss, no less. No, do not go back to Protestantism. There is truly nothing to go back to. Peter answered correctly when he said, “Lord to whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life.”

          Second, you are discerning enough to understand what is happening in the Catholic Church. Yes, Francis is betraying the Church and he is betraying our Lord and he is betraying the Lord’s people. That will be his sin, not yours or mine. There are Cardinals, Bishops and Priests who are likewise betraying the Church and our Lord and the people, but there are those who are faithful. Do not allow faithless men to rob you of your own faith. There are people on these boards who cannot and will not see these things — ignore them. Respect the office and title of pope, but pay no heed to Francis’ words or his actions.

          Third, I understand your suffering. Many of us are likewise suffering. I view the mass as a cross to be carried. When a priest speaks in his homily with glowing admiration and respect for a man who is causing confusion and chaos, dissent and division (i.e., Francis), it is as if our Lord and his Church are being crucified once again. The “make a mess theology” is not Catholic. God is not a god of confusion. We will know a tree by its fruit. The fruit of Francis’ tree is rotten to the core. Remain at the foot of the cross with Mary and John and weep with them. Do not flee like the rest of Christ’s disciples did. Be faithful.

          Forth, the Sacraments remain valid (at least thus far). If the words of consecration are changed, then that will be a different situation. Even if the priest commits the sin of solicitation (e.g., encouraging and blessing adultery) when hearing confessions, he remains a priest. Again, a priest’s sin is his sin and not yours or mine. My advice to you is to find the “most holy” and “most reverent” mass that you can find along with a priest who remains faithful to the historic teachings of the Catholic Church. Go there.

          Finally, I would encourage you to check out the One Peter Five and the Denzinger Bergoglio websites. I think both of these resources would be a help to you. The Church began with Judas; we will end with Judas. The Church began with Peter denying Christ three times and yet Peter repented and was restored. He later died a martyr. Pray for Francis’ conversion and for his soul. We are watching prophesy being fulfilled. These are troubling times. Our Lord will return soon. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

      • Barbara Wells

        Very well said.

      • Vicky

        How can you receive Our Lord and Saviour in the host and yet tune out on the rest of the mass. Who is this Lord and Saviour you receive in the Host. Is He not the Lord described in John chapter one that all things came into being through Him? The resurrected Christ who conquered death for us. His presence alone even in the host will not be enough to make holy the rest of the mass?. Are you saying that light and darkness will mix here. Or rather darkness will conquer light?. Rosech Levy, I am just trying to understand why you will tune off from the rest of the mass? I thank God almighty who will perfect us all eventually, IF only we allow Him to do so. Happy Ash Wednesday.

    • PJB

      Yes Doug, Francis is “the False Pope”. Study Revelations, discern Catholic prophecy. Some people will not see what is in front of them. They refuse to believe that WE could be the generation of the last days. Remember that many prophecies say the remnant will be small. I think part of the reason is because so many refuse to see the truth of our times. Some people want everything to “feel good” so they blind themselves to seeing, and put in ear plugs to the things this pope says. He is a heretic. If he was a heretic before becoming pope, even though duly elected, then he is not our legitimate pope. He is an antipope! By being heretical he ousts himself from the office of pope. He is slyly promoting humanism which will take the focus off of God and lower it to human levels. Just watch and see what is in the making in the near future! The Sacraments and Commandments will be changed. So very slightly that the “do gooders – I want everything to feel good” Catholics won’t even realize what’s hit them. Francis is promoting giving even the Eucharist to Catholics living in sin, those divorced without an annulment and even non-Catholics if they feel it is O.K. So many will be fooled. Pray to always know TRUTH.
      To answer your question. Keep in mind that Jesus began the Catholic Church so stay faithful. I have left the Vatican II modern church and attend a Traditional Catholic Church where tradition, respect, and the sacraments remain true. The Mass isn’t watered down! A result of Vatican II.
      Remember that at Fatima Our Lady said that Satan would enter the Church even at the highest levels – Freemasonry. Rome is run by Freemasons! Stay steadfast to TRUTH…and I will see you in the KINGDOM!!!

      • Damon Fernandez

        If I could be so bold as to make one possible alteration to your statements… My studies of Marion prophesy and related prophesy from the saints, seem indicate that this is not the last days, but the end of the 5th age culminating with the terrible chastisement where 66 to 75 percent of the worlds population will be annihilated. There will be a purging of the the non faithful laity and priests along with the rest of the earths population. The Catholic Church will have much to suffer for it’s succumbing to modernism
        At this point, at the end of the chastisement, St Peter and St. Paul will come down from Heaven to appoint the new Pope and the great Catholic monarch, who will bring in the 6th age of peace and restore the Traditional Catholic Faith around the entire world until the coming of the Anti-Christ. I know you know most of this already. I pray everyday for the enlightenment of the Catholic faithful, and for all the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, and especially for this misguided Pope, that they will embrace, return and defend the Traditional Catholic faith If you have not already read it, may I suggest the book by Edward Conner, “Prophesy for Today” (Amazon – $8,95) as a good source to get a basic overview of the Blessed Virgins message for us.This book. along with some of my other studies, had a direct influence on my changing to a parish that offers the Traditional Latin Mass. I feel I have come home after 47 years. The Blessed Virgin is begging all Catholics to pray the Rosary every day and and to humble ourselves before Christ! May God bless you and your family!

      • Vicky

        We need to allow ourselves schooled under the banner of Our Blessed Mother. We need to pray lots of Rosaries especially this lent or join Legion of Mary in your parish. Our Mother will lead us perfectly to Her Son Jesus Christ.

    • Vicky

      We do not have a false Pope

      • Doug Brown

        Yes, he is a devil. He is finishing off, read: destroying, the Catholic Church.

    • Midget01

      The false pope has been declared by Satan not by God. If you believe that you may never be open to hearing the truth. Mr. Brown you can not call yourself Christian or Spiritual if you can’t tell the difference in what the Spirit directs. You are listening to heresy Instead of following what evil is professing in this world read and study the early Christian fathers, Read the writings of the apostles Start with the oldest works and then move forward. If you are not willing to do the study to find the truth then you have no right or wisdom to try to sway anyone else to believe your false statements. Faith is not blindly following a belief. Faith takes strength and God gives graces to those who truly want to believe. Many of us have ran the test of time. I have been a serious believer for 65 years. I was not born a believer But have been gifted to search and study. I have met a variety saints in my life and been exposed to the joys of Gods works. Many people see me as knowledgable; I still see myself on t he journey and hopefully a friend to most. That part of who I am is not important but rather whether I can help someone understand God. I am not a preacher, nor do I argue the fact. But for me I know the truth and don’t believe you have the right to tell people they should not seek it. I for one know you are wrong but I do allow you to have your opinion but you must remember it is your opinion in a world that believes other wise. We pray for you and trust that should you feel so strongly that you must cause some people to sway and go to hell that God holds you responsible for their souls. While you laugh and wonder who is this person who thinks she can tell me I am wrong those are the thoughts of a bully who has to be right no matter what the cost. Perhaps you are similar to Anthony in the book Cross Roads by William Paul Young. that is not a Catholic book but perhaps it might redirect your thinking. He is the Author of the Shack. He seems to talk about God when other ministers or priests can reach people like yourself. You should give it a try and then come back with your arguments about God. remember a Church to be a true church is made up of sinners. It is like a hospital where they come to rest and recuperate.NO on this earth today is perfect. No one claims themselves to be. In a family we have a mother and hopefully a father who are meant to lead, guide and teach. That is the role of the priests and ministers of church. Their guide book is the bible and tradition. As a teenager you rebel but the system continues to work and that teenager later becomes part of the very system that they once rebelled against. So is the cycle of life. When you have had your fit you will return renewed and full of God’s graces. Amen. PS some take longer then others.

  • Linda Dokey

    Thank you! So happy that you shared this! I too have shared. Many do not know why we receive Ashes, even good Catholics.
    GOD BLESS!

    • Michael Illies

      Doug, what have you been reading to think that the Pope Francis is a false Pope?

      • Rosech Levy

        Michael, nothing to read but just to listen to this Francis talks because 90% of the time it is not Catholicism but communism as my family knows personally what communism is and how it speaks. So we have a bad pope, but we still have our Catholic Church and that is all that matters at the end of the day.

        • radiodjconcord

          I tend to agree with Rosech, that man scares me. I feel he is not a Christian man.

        • Barbara Wells

          I’m with you on this. We’ve had bad popes in the past but the Church has always persevered, as it always has, for the past 2,000 yrs. Christ taught us that the ‘gates’s of hell will not prevail against it.”

        • Jim Schrang

          AMEN to that!!!

        • Midget01

          You are wrong Rosech Levy. Yes I do believe you think you have experienced Communism but not in it’s truest form. You experienced Communion with a dictator and that is not true communism. You do need to read and learn that what you have experienced and have been told was a distorted version of communism. Communism in of and by itself is meant to serve all without one leader making decisions and forcing other s to follow. True Communism is all working for the good of all. No hierarchy exists in true communism. we have been lead to fear the good of all because someone steps forward and takes control that is greed.

          • Ruth Hammons

            Communism is not freedom….communism is not the good for all. It is good for the top, but the people are peasants who work to make a good living for the leader, not themselves. It is a very bad way to live and nothing free people should ever accept. Where is work ethic to do better for your self? Where are the rights to faith as one sees fit, to live as one sees fit, choices? There is no owning anything in communism..the state owns everything. Everyone living the same like sheep in a field with no thoughts of their own, no creativity, robot-like life, nothingness….like Marxism, Stalinist and what Russia has lived most of their existence. No thank you!

          • Carmen Sepulveda

            If no one is in charge isn’t that anarchy? Just that one principle alone makes Communism a false unworkable philosophy. In pure Communism, as idealist like to imagine it, there is no one in charge. But that also means there is no accountability when things go wrong. It also assumes that everyone is of equal talents and abilities. But this too is a false premise. Even mankind is not without a primary leader, our Father in Heaven, who is above all of us in talents and abilities. Of all the systems of government there is none in the history of the world that has done more for mankind than a Republic. You elect leaders to represent you, yet you the citizen are the boss. The problem we’ve had for the last several decades is politicians seemed to have forgotten that they work for us and not the other way around. I’m hopeful that will change soon.

          • Marko Baković

            Regarding Communist, Communist era was more God and faith friendly than
            Western societies;Western societies more similar to the pagan times and Christians are often prosecuted for their faith USA and europe,this is just fact
            which not mentioned in media outlets.

          • Amy

            Might I suggest listening to Bishop Fulton Sheen’s lectures on communism? He clearly explains why this ideology goes against all that God created in man.

          • Aleteia

            “True Communism is all working for the good of all. No hierarchy exists in true communism” – you described a utopia. All will never work for the good of all. And coercion doesn’t work. Hierarchy will always exist, nature and even heaven is hierarchical. The idea of an earthly paradise is very tempting for some Christians. Scholars says that communism is a Christian heresy, therefore needs to be avoided!
            In each country which attempted communism, ended up becoming a dictatorship. Something odd isn’t it? And is no coincidence.

          • Jose Luis Javier Pelayo

            Amen!

        • Jose Luis Javier Pelayo

          I think you have to becaeeful judging others specialy, priests, fathers or popes, we are not here on this life to judge others because there is only one who those that, and you are not taking his place as a judge, and no one else, …be careful my friend you are just a step a way from loosing your faith based on catholisism if you still believe on it. If you have lived communism, sorry but that came out of a goverment, president, or whatever politic person, pope can mix with them but never will make you live at the way he wants, and good communism, it means equal comunity, and equalty you will never wish to have others people life, your communism came out of a dictador, who makes rich himself from others kiping them poor, pope will never do that to you, and I dont think he will never broke in to your house taking a way stuff from you. God bless.

      • Damon Fernandez

        My studies of Marion prophesy and related prophesy from the saints, seem to indicate that this is possibly the end of the 5th age culminating with the terrible chastisement where 66 to 75 percent of the worlds population will be annihilated. (look up “3 days of darkness” – the end of the chastisement) There will be a purging of the the non faithful laity and priests along with the rest of the earths population. Even the good and faithful Catholics will not be spared. The Catholic Church will have much to suffer for it’s succumbing to modernism, something that seemingly consumes this Pope. I do not think that I believe he is a false Pope, just a heretical one. And possibly the last Pope of the 5th age, if one is to consider the prophesy of Malachi and his list of Popes.
        According to the messages of Fatima, Akita and Garabandal, in the final days, the presiding Holy Father will be martyred on the steps of a fallen city. (Vatican city maybe?) At this point, St Peter and St. Paul will come down from Heaven to appoint the new holy and humble Pope and a great Catholic monarch, who will usher in the beginning of the 6th age of peace and restore the Traditional Catholic Faith around the entire world until the coming of the Anti-Christ at the end of the 6th age. I pray everyday for the enlightenment of the Catholic faithful, (myself especially) and for all the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, and especially for this misguided Pope, that they will embrace, return and defend the Traditional Catholic Faith If you have not already read it, may I suggest the book by Edward Conner, “Prophesy for Today” (Amazon – $8,95) as a good source to get a basic overview of the Blessed Virgins message for us.This book. along with some of my other studies, had a direct influence on my changing to a parish that offers the Traditional Latin Mass. I feel I have come home after 49 years of being a cradle Catholic. The Blessed Virgin is begging all Catholics to pray the Rosary every day and and to humble ourselves before Christ! May God bless you and your family!

        • Carmen Sepulveda

          When that day comes I seriously hope I’m at ground zero. I wouldn’t want to deal with the aftermath.

        • tiaraboo

          Amen Damon Fernandez, Amen. I hope both our beloved families are on that narrow road to salvation!!!

  • Bill_S

    Nice custom. Lots of symbology there. But not all Catholics do this. We in the Eastern Rites started The Great Fast (Lent) today with Pure Monday. So for us, Wednesday is just the 3rd day of Lent. Also, where you in the West fast and abstain on Fridays in Lent, we do it on Wednesdays and Fridays.

    • Marko Baković

      Also other Roman Catholics do fast on Wednesdays and Fridays,even all year but ashes apply just on Ashe Wednesday.

      • Midget01

        Many Protestant churches have adapted this tradition and are using the same words. In 2000 I found my self caught at meetings to where I would not be able to get to my church for ashes. I contacted my Bishops office to seek a possible solution and was told by the Bishop that I could attend a United Methodist Ash Wednesday Service and it would qualify as an equal to the Roman catholic service. I just could not partake in their Eucharistic Celebration. Our Bishop is usually a hard nose traditionalist. It said it was not a requirement or mandatory to do and the ashes were not part of a Sacrament. Therefore it was an optional thing for Catholics to do and had become a wonderful Spiritual tradition to start off our Lenten Season. Since then I have talked to many priests outside of my Diocese and they agreed. Fasting though is the Catholic Tradition. Prior to Vatican II We fasted for 40 days like Jesus in the Desert But because Lent has 46 days We use to fast only on Monday – Friday. The modern version now removes it as a hardship for many and requires us to focus on Ash Wednesday and all the Friday’s during Lent. We abstain and fast on Ash Wednesday and GOOD FRIDAY to stress the difference and importance. While sin is always optional; following a cannon of our church is placed there to guide us and to view Christ’s life more fully. When we are trying to respond in the suffering that the Lord went through preparing Himself for what was to come about during what has now become our Holy Week. We as followers try to show respect and love for what our Lord did for us on the Cross.

    • Barbara Wells

      Amen to you.

    • Midget01

      Thank you Bill. Many of us Roman Catholics admire your traditions as once we were more close to your beliefs. While I try to continue my old tradition I was never as strong as you to profess the Eastern Rites traditions.

      • Bill_S

        You are always welcome to come over and visit. Our liturgy is valid for you as well as yours valid for us. My wife and I stopped by a Ruthenian Church 20 years ago, and decided to stay. Just google eastern catholic church in your area.

        • Midget01

          Bill while that is true in some eastern rites it does not carry across all boundaries. We can always visit other sects and rites of any religion but Eucharist can not be received by us at many of the rites. We have to be careful not to offend them but the church has made it clear that not all catholic churches are equal and are not fully given the understanding of the original church founded by Christ. They have received a portion of the truth and for this reason we invite but can not confirm the equality when it is absent from their beliefs. All Eastern Rites are not equal and all are not in Union with Rome. I believe we have much in common and in time will become one again.

          • Bill_S

            The 23 eastern rites of the Catholic Church (not the Orthodox churches) are 100% in union with Rome. I speak of the Ruthenian Rite of which I am a member. Google “byzantine rite” and you will come up with the names of the 23 rites in union with the west (and 4 western rites besides the Roman/Latin rite) under the Pope.

      • Vicky

        You have to study the eastern Rite tradition well. They do not have one magisterum like we have.

  • tiaraboo

    The current, CORRUPT, Pedophile Pope is our LAST Pope. He worships Satan and is a vessel for Lucifer. Clearly we can see by his actions that he is on the side of dark and evil. He protects heinous pedophiles, He denounces those who tell the truth about Islamic religion and Sharia Law. Is it any wonder he cozied up to Hussein Obama. He is a political Pope with a VILE agenda. Pope John Paul the 1st was a good man. He tried to clean up the Vatican which is basically Satan’s stomping grounds. Pope John Paul tried to weed out corruption. It cost him his life. A Nun who last saw him told of how he was poisoned by tea laden with strychnine.
    The fulfillment of Gen 3:15 is finally completed. Satan’s head is finally crushed.
    The Lord God said, I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN YOU (Satan) AND THE WOMAN (Israel), AND BETWEEN YOUR SEED (the offspring of Satan, the son of Satan, the Antichrist, which is yet to come, as well as the children of the devil) AND HER SEED (the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus Christ)-Gen 3:15 NASB; HE (Jesus) WILL CRUSH YOUR HEAD, AND YOU (Satan) WILL STRIKE HIS HEEL-Gen 3:15 NIV.
    For THE GOD OF PEACE SHALL BRUISE SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET SHORTLY-Ro 16:20.

    • Glennfriend67

      Heretic!

      • john

        The only true Catholic position is the sedevacantist position. Are you aware that Jorge Bergoglio, or, antipope Francis, believes proclaims and professes that muhammadans worship the same God as Christians? I am curious, do you agree with him?

        • Charlie

          Jews, Muslims and Christians all worship the same God. The God of Abraham. Islam murders and kills over who are the prophets.

          • whawell

            The religion of Islam is problematic, but most adherents of Islam are God fearing people. At least to me that is the charitable way of viewing the religion and its adherents.

          • john

            The adherents of Islam worship the devil when they pray to allah. And you have a perverted concept of Charity. Charity is the love of neighbor for the love of Almighty God. And the love of neighbor is superceded by the love of Almighty God. To equate the worship of devils to the worship of the one true God is an offense to almighty God, and you do so in the perverted notion of ‘love of neighbor”.

          • Carmen Sepulveda

            I really believe that most Muslims are true seekers of God. I just think that they’ve been fooled to believe they’ll find him through the teachings of Islam.

          • john

            Jews, Muslims and Catholics DO NOT, again, DO NOT worship the same God. The Catholic God is the Holy Trinity, Three Divine Persons in One God. When Catholics worship or adore the Father, they worship and adore the Son and the Holy Ghost. Muhamaddans DO NOT worship the Holy Trinity nor do they worship Jesus Christ. Anyone who rejects this doctrine of the Catholic Faith are not Catholic but are heretics. And you sir, are a heretic.

          • Doug Brown

            Correct. Mohammit was a man out for himself, only.

          • Midget01

            John Sorry to say but the Jews and the Muslims also worship the blessed Trinity Because they can’t separate God from Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Their problem is they just don’t recognize it yet. They can ignore the words but in the long run they will eventually find out that God is a much broader figure then they thought. That is why the Catholic Church has the fullness of faith. But we are not to Lord it over people. When we do we are no better then the Pharisees who Lord their positions in the temple over the Israelites. Jesus was not happy about that either. To love your neighbor means loving them with all their faults.; not just the ones we like.

          • Midget01

            You must be pre Vatican John? But even when I was I was taught to love like the apostles did not like the Pharisees of today.

          • Aleteia

            “Jews, Muslims and Christians all worship the same God. The God of Abraham. Islam murders and kills over who are the prophets.” No we don’t worship the same God. Jesus said, “…only people that will know about the Father are those people the Son chooses to tell.” Those who don’t recognize Jesus as the son of God, as the second person of the Trinity, do not know the Father. There several significant differences between Mahommedanism and Christianity. Without crucifixion and resurrection, Christianity doesn’t exist. Muslims deny that Jesus died on the cross and resurrected. They consider that the Bible is corrupted. The more I study the Quran, the more I am appalled. Allah was a pagan lunar god in the Middle East, you can check that. Be careful, we need to keep Christianity uncontaminated. In the Old Testament it is described how severely God punished the Jews for worshiping false gods. We will be severely punished for bowing to Allah by considering him the same with the Trinitarian God.

        • Midget01

          Even if they claim to call their God to be the same does not mean you sir have the right to say that is wrong. It is better that we allow them to believe that then to hate them. God will be the judge to say whether they truly believe the same or not. But most of the time their actions show otherwise so what is the point to argue when it is obvious to us that actions speak louder then words. Names are human ways to define things. Names and times are not necessarily God’s ways of revealing to us He is Who AM!!! All 3 religions believe this as well. So your point?

          • john

            I do have the right to say that they are wrong. And not only do I have a right to say they are wrong, Catholics have an obligation to say that they are wrong. And Almighty God has already spoken as to whether or not they believe the same or not. Apparently the words of Jesus Christ do not matter to you and the other heretics on this board

            John 14:6
            Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

          • Aleteia

            To recognize a big mistake, doesn’t mean to hate – this is a cliché label often used nowadays! It is called discernment. We need more than ever to discern right from wrong, truth from falsehood! Midge01, you should look at the irreconcilable differences between Christianity and Islam. Those Muslims who converted to Christianity because of visions, expected to see Allah in heaven, but they met…. Jesus. Don’t be fooled that because we all call it “God”, we believe in the same entity! Satan is the greatest deceiver.

      • Damon Fernandez

        I tend to believe most of tiaraboo’s statement is accurate. My studies of Marion prophesy and related prophesy from the saints and the faithful, seem to indicate that this is possibly the end of the 5th age culminating with the terrible chastisement where 66 to 75 percent of the worlds population will be annihilated. (look up “3 days of darkness” – the end of the chastisement) There will be a purging of the the non faithful laity and priests along with the rest of the earths population. Even the good and faithful Catholics will not be spared. The Catholic Church will have much to suffer for it’s succumbing to modernism, something that seemingly consumes this Pope. I do not think that I believe he is a false Pope or that he himself is a pedophile, just a heretical Pope. And possibly the last Pope of the 5th age, if one is to consider the prophesy of Malachi and his list of Popes.
        According to the messages of Fatima, Akita and Garabandal, in the final days, the presiding Holy Father will be martyred on the steps of a fallen city. (Vatican city maybe?) At this point, St Peter and St. Paul will come down from Heaven to appoint the new holy and humble Pope and a great Catholic monarch, who will usher in the beginning of the 6th age of peace and restore the Traditional Catholic Faith around the entire world until the coming of the Anti-Christ at the end of the 6th age. I pray everyday for the enlightenment of the Catholic faithful, (myself especially) and for all the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, and especially for this misguided Pope, that they will embrace, return and defend the Traditional Catholic Faith If you have not already read it, may I suggest the book by Edward Conner, “Prophesy for Today” (Amazon – $8,95) as a good source to get a basic overview of the Blessed Virgins message for us.This book. (which has been approved by the Catholic Church, interestingly enough) along with some of my other studies, had a direct influence on my changing to a parish that offers the Traditional Latin Mass. I feel I have come home after 49 years of being a cradle Catholic. The Blessed Virgin is begging all Catholics to pray the Rosary every day and to humble ourselves before Christ! May God bless you and your family!

      • Doug Brown

        It’s actually much worse than this. The Pope frequently uses references to fecal matter, and the eating of the same, in his denunciations, which infers his own personal familiarity with homosexuality, meaning the Pope is a practicing homosexual. Only homosexuals have knowledge of consuming such. It is disgusting and beyond revulsion. Check it for yourself, because I know it sounds just too brazen a thing, but it is true, Francis uses words directly referencing the physical consumption of fecal matter.

    • Isabel Huber-Scott

      You come from the darkness! May you repent and see the Light.

      • Doug Brown

        No, tiaraboo is spot on. Fatima is real.

    • Rosech Levy

      tiaraboo, I don’t know where you get this information, but it seems to be another fake news/article to poison our minds as they fight against us as Catholics and Christianity as well. I don’t like Francis or accept him as our pope, but I will not denigrate him or judge him because that is up to God, not us. Whatever you have heard has no foundation and is not important in the scheme of things. What is important is to remember we have had horrible and nasty popes over the centuries, but we hold true to our faith and know after 2K years it is still here and in God’s hands. To state what you have shows you need counseling and love, so seek them out and realize you are God’s child and He loves you and will handle all the problems in His own way. I remember when I was a RICA teacher that the other teacher said and it is so true: The Church goes up three steps and two back, but we are still here and viable and vibrant.

      • Damon Fernandez

        I tend to believe most of tiaraboo’s statement is accurate. My studies of Marion prophesy and related prophesy from the saints and the faithful, seem to indicate that this is possibly the end of the 5th age culminating with the terrible chastisement where 66 to 75 percent of the worlds population will be annihilated. (look up “3 days of darkness” – the end of the chastisement) There will be a purging of the the non faithful laity and priests along with the rest of the earths population. Even the good and faithful Catholics will not be spared. The Catholic Church will have much to suffer for it’s succumbing to modernism, something that seemingly consumes this Pope. I do not think that I believe he is a false Pope or that he himself is a pedophile, just a heretical Pope. And possibly the last Pope of the 5th age, if one is to consider the prophesy of Malachi and his list of Popes.
        According to the messages of Fatima, Akita and Garabandal, in the final days, the presiding Holy Father will be martyred on the steps of a fallen city. (Vatican city maybe?) At this point, St Peter and St. Paul will come down from Heaven to appoint the new holy and humble Pope and a great Catholic monarch, who will usher in the beginning of the 6th age of peace and restore the Traditional Catholic Faith around the entire world until the coming of the Anti-Christ at the end of the 6th age. I pray everyday for the enlightenment of the Catholic faithful, (myself especially) and for all the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, and especially for this misguided Pope, that they will embrace, return and defend the Traditional Catholic Faith If you have not already read it, may I suggest the book by Edward Conner, “Prophesy for Today” (Amazon – $8,95) as a good source to get a basic overview of the Blessed Virgins message for us.This book. along with some of my other studies, had a direct influence on my changing to a parish that offers the Traditional Latin Mass. I feel I have come home after 49 years of being a cradle Catholic. The Blessed Virgin is begging all Catholics to pray the Rosary every day and to humble ourselves before Christ! May God bless you and your family!

      • Donna

        You won’t “denigrate him or judge him,” but you “don’t like Francis or accept him as our pope!” Those two statements in the same sentence contradict each other!

    • whawell

      “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”. Before you curse the darkness, maybe you should not be so rash & judgemental. I am not aware of any Pope being a pedophile or a child sex abuser (there’s a difference between the two). I would also caution you about conspiracy theories. The latter is usually the work of the devil.

    • Midget01

      You know you make fun and attack a faith that you don’t understand and never once have you put forward who you are and what you believe. It is easy to get on a computer and make fun of people. If you are Christian then you are not a practicing one. Even the devil knew the verses when tempting Jesus in the desert. God would not feel you are following what He has commanded with your vulgar attempts to put down God believing people. To criticize for the sake of speaking is a form of blasphemy and bears no fruit. You pretend you know something but reality is that Pope Francis and St. JPII knew each other and supported each other. Take your so called biblical phrases and study them; read them to yourself because obviously you don’t understand their full meaning. It is not predicted in any bible that THE Church will fall; if anything we are promised God will be with us until the end of time. For all you know your time is near but the church is here for eternity. Oh that is in God’s time. You spend your time trying to label the antichrist and wanting to see the devil in everything. Perhaps your god -Satan has won you over but the rest of us will follow God’s ways and not yours. Satan has already placed himself at the foot of Christ and GOd is in control not you.

      • Vicky

        If only they knew that this church is Holy and is ONE and is Apostolic and is Catholic. Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. This church has produced millions of saints, even saints that walked on water and even some with incorruptible bodies for hundreds of years. Please read your church history and see how the church has been protected all these centuries and don’t be carried away by prophecies because we do not understand all that it means nor when they will happen. 365 times in the bible, God said DO NOT BE AFRAID. Just answer the call to holiness
        They just confuse new converts like Doug Brown but with God they will overcome.

        • Susan Shelko

          I don’t think Doug Brown, as a recent convert, is confused at all. I think he understands far more than many cradle Catholics do.

      • Donna

        Please don’t capitalize “satan;” he doesn’t deserve that respect. Just like you did with “devil,” please keep the evil one in small case. Thank you.

        • tiaraboo

          i’m big on CAPS!! 😉

      • Aleteia

        Midge, try praying more, you just mess up things. Pray for clarity from the Holy Spirit!

    • Damon Fernandez

      I tend to believe most of your statement is accurate. My studies of Marion prophesy and related prophesy from the saints and the faithful, seem to indicate that this is possibly the end of the 5th age culminating with the terrible chastisement where 66 to 75 percent of the worlds population will be annihilated. (look up “3 days of darkness” – the end of the chastisement) There will be a purging of the the non faithful laity and priests along with the rest of the earths population. Even the good and faithful Catholics will not be spared. The Catholic Church will have much to suffer for it’s succumbing to modernism, something that seemingly consumes this Pope. I do not think that I believe he is a false Pope or that he himself is a pedophile, just a heretical Pope. And possibly the last Pope of the 5th age, if one is to consider the prophesy of Malachi and his list of Popes.
      According to the messages of Fatima, Akita and Garabandal, in the final days, the presiding Holy Father will be martyred on the steps of a fallen city. (Vatican city maybe?) At this point, St Peter and St. Paul will come down from Heaven to appoint the new holy and humble Pope and a great Catholic monarch, who will usher in the beginning of the 6th age of peace and restore the Traditional Catholic Faith around the entire world until the coming of the Anti-Christ at the end of the 6th age. I pray everyday for the enlightenment of the Catholic faithful, (myself especially) and for all the Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, and especially for this misguided Pope, that they will embrace, return and defend the Traditional Catholic Faith If you have not already read it, may I suggest the book by Edward Conner, “Prophesy for Today” (Amazon – $8,95) as a good source to get a basic overview of the Blessed Virgins message for us.This book. along with some of my other studies, had a direct influence on my changing to a parish that offers the Traditional Latin Mass. I feel I have come home after 49 years of being a cradle Catholic. The Blessed Virgin is begging all Catholics to pray the Rosary every day and and to humble ourselves before Christ! May God bless you and your family!

    • Walter Stapleton

      I see from the venom in your post that there must be some deep-seated hate for something in the church or the church itself? What is that? One thing to hate the evil that creeps in, but quite another to blame just the pope for it all – which is tantamount to a cheap shot. Maybe you should read and investigate all the good the church has done throughout the ages, instead of only focusing on the mistakes and wrong stuff. For instance, in 393-400, the church coalesced the canon of Holy Scripture as we have today, and which you quote and are obviously fond of. A recognized quality history of the church might also be helpful for the real facts.

    • Donna

      Please stop capitalizing the evil one’s name; that shows respect for him that he doesn’t deserve. Thank you.

      • tiaraboo

        ok.

      • Patricia L. Edukonis

        Thank you Donna. This entire discussion has me very upset. Can you all not see the enemy at work here? With everyone disagreeing – satan has you right where he wants you and is laughing at you. Open your eyes people !

    • Jose Luis Javier Pelayo

      Are you God??? I looks like you can see the future, you are a judge a God judge, you can see the hell too, that is awesome to offend others good example, good catholic, excuseme; are you! Why you dont take popes place and lead us, let see what you can do, are you a priest? because if you are not you are so a way from it, how you planning to fix it them? By just spiting all that stuff out of your mouth, what are your good actions, where are your blessings?? Is this how you bless?? Is this how every body we should bless?? Or the oposite way… I can see you guys talked too much but Im very sure no people making good actions but talking crap is easy, been angry is easy than forgiving, been angry is easy than apology. God bless every one but Im realy sad to see this site, I will never be here again, so nasty.

    • Doug Brown

      Your pronouncements about Francis are sadly very correct.

  • thanks. i’m a baptist and couldn’t understand why i’d see people, like some members of congress w/ that black stuff on their head! it didn’t look like a cross either. it looked like a thumbprint. thanks 4 finally answering a long standing question i had. i asked others & just got an ”i don’t know”.

    • Julid

      Hi Stephanie, I am a convert to Catholicism and although I was not Baptist, I went to a Baptist college. There is so much more to the Christian faith than what is found in Protestant denominations. There are many layers to the Catholic faith, which, by the way, has only been called Catholic (which means universal) for a few hundred years….basically to name it something because all the Protestant denominations had names, usually after their founders or one core belief such as baptism. Otherwise, it was just known as “Christianity”. I invite you to come to a service on Wednesday at a Catholic church, there will be a morning service and and evening one offered on that day at most Catholic churches.

      • BURYWEYMIER48

        Just a quick note to your reference of a ‘service’ at a Catholic Church. We do not call it a ‘service’ – it is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is the unbloody Sacrifice that Jesus made for all of us to be saved that we celebrate at each Mass. You can go to daily Mass and better yet, if you have never experienced the Latin Mass, you should go to one and see the difference. It is more profound than the Novus Ordo (New Order). Just compare the prayers at both. It is one of the most beautiful Masses I have ever attended. It really lifts you up so you are closer to heaven.

        • Legoge47

          What about the worship on Good Friday, when the Tabernacle is empty? I understand that is not a Mass since the Lord isn’t there.

          • BURYWEYMIER48

            You are correct. No Mass is celebrated on Good Friday because the Mass is a celebration of both the Sacrifice on the Cross and His Resurrection. It is a special liturgy in which John’s Gospel is read, intercessory prayers are prayed and people venerate the Cross and kiss it. It is concluded by receiving Communion but the hosts that are given are ones that have already been consecrated the night before. Here is more information: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06643a.htm I hope that helps.

          • Legoge47

            Thank you

          • Midget01

            Most Catholic Churches today do hold a Mass and distribute Communion. This was not so for several centuries prior to Vatican II. Most people see the Roman Catholic Church as rigid and never changing but we have gone through many adjustments to our services over the last 2,000 years. Yet at the same time when you walk into any Catholic Church in the world even if you don’t speak that language you know exactly what prayers they are saying and what is happening if you are a full fledge practicing Catholic. Technically we celebrate our services at exactly the same moment all over the world in heaven and earth at the same time. I know that is hard for some of you to comprehend but we don’t talk to God one at a time but in the unity of the Church. The priest represents Christ on Earth. He was the High priest and the sacrifice at the same time. God doesn’t operate with a clock. He operates outside of time. This is why the sacrifice of Jesus is viewed as on going. We are not crucifying Christ at east Mass but merely joining in the celebration with our human time to connect with what has and will always continue to be until we join God and the saints in heaven. Jesus is the High Priest who celebrates the Divine ; while we join with him and celebrate the earthly Mass. Therefore all those who have died and went before us are in union with us as we all celebrate the Mass together when we allow ourselves to become a part of the celebration. There is much more taking place then even many Catholics realize. Once they do the Mass takes on a deeper meaning for them as well. We are joined with God and all the saints in heaven through the Mass. Read our Creed sometime and this will give you a better understanding on what is happening. Or Read Dr. Scott Hahn ( a converted Scripture Scholar) or even a Jewish Convert who wrote salvation is from the Jews by Roy Schoeman. There are many other Books lately by Tony Aquillanos and others who have great books expressing more deeply the history of the Mass; how our theology has deepened and that there is much more that occurs during the mass then many recognize. The Catholic Church has many deep Spiritual affects that people continue discover as their faith matures. This is one reason we can’t be compared to other faiths. We are not just a weekend service- We are a way of life. That is why many people of the old testament looked at the early followers of Christ and said see how happy they are? They knew there was something missing in t he way they worshipped their Gods. One can get caught in the news media with a few priests who messed their life style but the church as a whole is on going and has been guided by the holy spirit for 2,000 years. Many other forms of faith have started and fallen away over and over again. But the catholic Church doesn’t change. It holds true to it’s belief. You just can’t let the world tell you who we are because it would like to destroy us if they could. We don’t fit the way many people of the world want us to think. And that is OK. We are not trying to be popular or win a contest. We just keep bringing people to Christ. Check out Cusillo. This year is the 100th year of the Our Lady of Fatima Vision. People still believe. and the list goes on and on.

      • Walt

        The word “Catholic” was attributed to the Church in or about 170 AD!

        • Legoge47

          It possibly goes back further than that, according to some people.

      • Rosech Levy

        I agree with you, Julid. In my first Catholic university we were required to study other religions and visit the churches. I am half Jewish so it was a marvel to me to visit a synagogue and experience the ceremony (and also the goodies afterwards). For most of the years I worked for attorneys, they were 95% Jewish and I learned a great deal about their holidays and our meeting those holidays. A fantastic way to see and understand our Catholic faith being started and underlined by the Jew and their celebrations. This figures since the Apostles were Jews and melded so much of their upbringing into the Catholic faith. We truly have been blessed to be the first Christians and many varieties due to 6 Apostles going forth as Jesus commanded, and I can say I also one branch which is the Greek Orthodox Church, another the Marian, etc., etc., because in San Jose, CA and environs we have some three to visit and enjoy. It was my wish to go to Spain again and take the time to walk to Saint James (Jaime/Diego) Church and site. I lived in San Diego, CA and felt how neat that this was named after an Apostle. Our history is full, beautiful and remarkable in spite of some nasty popes and priests, but we are still here after 2000K years. God’s mark is still upon us!

      • Midget01

        Julid: I am not sure where you got your source but please read more catholic material if you wish to make statements on the faith and practices. We have been called Catholic since 50 AD. There were several Bishops such as St Anthansius.t. St. Irenaesus, St. Eusebius who began sending letters making reference to the Catholic Church. Yes the word itself mean Universal. But remember the Catholic Church was the first Church of Christ and has never been a denomination. When you are the first and others fracture themselves from you – you are not a part of them but rather they took a part of the Catholic church with them and formulated their faith on the part they chose to keep. The first 50 years of the church many people thought the early church was a denomination of the Jewish faith and as they tried to establish their new understandings from Christ there were times it was referred to as the “WAY” and like I said in 50 A. D. if became known as the Catholic Church. When the Schism occurred between the East and the Western parts of the Catholic Church we then developed 2 lungs of the church the Eastern Orthodox Rite and the Roman Rite. We now have several other Rites some which are not in union with the 2 main branches. We are presently on the verge of mending the Schism of 1054. We both have holy orders and apostolic succession through the episcopacy and we both celebrate the same sacraments and have the same theology and proclaim the same faith in Christ. Back around the time of the Emperor of Constantinople many emperors believed they had the authority invested by God to make church appointments and this created conflicts between the 2 sides as they began to grow in different thoughts and at the same time Arianism heretics were very influential. While it continues to grow over the centuries it finally led to a total disagreement over having I head like Peter who was given the total Authority There were many disagreements such as the Latin compound word for “Filioque” means “and Son” found in the Creed which later was resolved with many councils but over time the 2 Rites became rooted in their ways and have remained separate all of these years. St. John Paul, St. John XXIII and several other Roman Catholic Popes have worked ardently to try to help mend the fences. I am sure there are also some Patriarch’s on the eastern Rite who have done the same but I am not familiar with their names to give you.

      • Bill_S

        The term Katholoicos (universal in Greek) was first used about 110 AD.

    • Rosech Levy

      Depends on who is putting the cross on our foreheads. I know when I do it, I am definitely making sure it is a cross and not a smudge.

    • Legoge47

      There there are non-Catholics who practice Ash Wednesday also. Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist, Anglican, etc.

    • Midget01

      The black spots were originally done in the form of a cross but over time many priests in order to speed the process up have lost some of the holiness that time takes to make it more obvious. Thank you for noticing. We hope to let people know that no matter how silly; we do this with a sincere heart and a loving mind for our savior.

  • Joel Frank

    Here is a quiz to see whether you can distinguish statements by Pope Francis from statements by Karl Marx.
    Questions!
    1. In a similar way, by raising dreams of an inexhaustible market and by fostering false speculations,
    the present treaty may prepare a new crisis at the very moment when the market of the world is
    but slowly recovering from the recent universal shock.

    2. …society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, and which can only
    lead to new crisis.

    3. In this play of forces, poverty senses a beneficent power more humane than human power.
    The arbitrary action of privileged individuals is replaced…Just as it is not fitting for the rich
    to lay claim to alms distributed in the street, so it is also in regard to these alms of nature.

    4. Yet we desire even more than this; our dream soars higher. We are not simply talking about
    ensuring nourishment or a “dignified sustenance” for all people…for it is through free,
    creative, participatory and mutually supportive labour that human beings express and enhance
    the dignity of their lives.

    5. …the limitless possibilities for consumption and distraction offered by contemporary society.
    This leads to a kind of alienation at every level, for a society becomes alienated when its forms
    of social organization, production and consumption make it more difficult…to establish solidarity
    between people.

    6. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the
    powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded
    and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

    7. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits,
    whatever is fragile…is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which becomes the only
    rule.

    8. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be
    able to resolve…Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer
    countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim
    that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless.

    9. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and above
    all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone:
    consumption.

    10. Solidarity is a spontaneous reaction by those who recognize that the social function of
    property and the universal destination of goods are realities which come before private property.

    Answers:
    1. Karl Marx New York Daily Tribune, September 20th 1858
    2. Pope Francis : Evangelii Gaudium pp202
    3. Karl Marx Rheinische Zeitung November 3rd, 1842.
    4. Pope Francis, PP192
    5. Pope Francis pp162
    6. Pope Francis pp53
    7. Pope Francis pp56
    8. Pope Francis pp60
    9. Pope Francis pp55
    10. Pope Francis pp189

  • Maureen McMahon Thompson

    Thank you very much for this information. God Bless You!!

  • Frances O’Dair

    I am fascinated at the open honest dialogue going on here. I believe God sent us Pope Francis so he would get us out of our complacency. It is time Catholics delved into our beliefs and the truths upon which our Faith is built. We have thrown away the textbooks of our school days and can now decide whether or not they helped us in our lives. I dare to say, “Close your Bible for a while”. Take a look at your life and decide if the Commandments of the Old Testament and Jesus’ Divine interpretation of them have assisted us in our lives. If we have been fed Traditional Judeo-Christian values and tried to abide by them, our lives have likely been quite happy and successful, despite the snags upon the way. The Father was the stern voice in the Old Testament and Jesus was the voice of unconditional brotherly love in the New. It is now the time for the Holy Spirit to shed His wisdom on the minds of us,who who both believe, love, hope and attempt to live as God lives in His Holy Trinity.

  • Luis

    For all the people criticizing Pope Francis, all I have to say is that if You criticize a priest, You have the obligation to pray double for him, and all religious people.

  • SILENTHAMMER

    To Rosech and radio…Pope Francis was duly elected by the College of Cardinals. The white smoke went up. Is there anything illegitimate in that? You say he’s “not a Christian”, and “90% of the time it is…communism”? Jesus Himself told us, “I will not leave you orphans….I will ask the Father and He will send the Holy Spirit”. Do you actually think God will allow a “false pope” to dupe His people? Pope Francis is, definitely NOT the “image” of previous popes. Neither was St. John Paul II. And they’re NOT the same in purpose, action and background. But Pope Francis came from a Socialist country, ruined by despots, and starving the population of the necessities and wealth that was once theirs. He LIVED in that life, helping the poor to survive in the militaristic repressive atmosphere. So, isn’t it natural for him to see this in the rest of the world, and want to help those who need it? And, whether we want to believe it, this wretched poverty DOES exist in ALL nations. God wants the world to be calm and peaceful. He created it and us for that. Francis is doing what he sees as the Gospel mission. He sees ALL men as created equal by God. And what does all this have to do with ASHES?

    • joann vale

      Amen dear Silenthammer, and God bless you!

  • Barbara Hagel

    Pope Francis is the closest I’ve seen of any of our popes who is actuallyteaching Jesus authentic doctrine. He just makes us a little uncomfortable because he calls us to a different lifestyle, for most of us…. just like Jesus did.

  • Sheila S. Conrads

    I can not believe what I’m reading! Option for the poor is communism? Than was Jesus Christ a communist? Read the 25th chapter of Matthew – is that communist? Read the social doctrine of the Catholic Church – is that communist? One should be very careful about slandering anyone, that includes Pope Francis. Jesus said to not bear false witness – Jesus said not to judge or you will bring judgement on yourselves. Even Pope John Paul who came out very strongly against communism was not a champion of pure capitalism – he thought co-ops would be the best. Read about our Pope – as a young person he was attracted to what in Argentina was called Peronism which had its roots in Catholic Social Teaching. Yes, this Pope has a very strong desire to make us a people who care for the poor. Is this somehow not Christian Catholic? What I have read on this blog makes me very sad.

  • Mark 7: 9 He [Christ] said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

    • Vicky

      Yes the Pharisees did distort the commandment in place of their traditiond

  • Gerald Donahue

    i do not always understand Pope Francis, but I sometimes get the feeling he is trying to remind us that we should remember Jesus saying, “turn the other cheek”. especially when journalists report what ‘they’ think the Pope meant. I have read many news reports that seemed inflammatory, and then read the actual words of the Holy Father; quite different outcome. i.e. “there are no religious (christian, jewish, muslim) terrorists”–truly meaning that anyone who truly believes in God, will not & cannot commit a terrorist act. (see N. Pelosi et al. proclaiming to be catholic and condoning murder of babies in the womb); also, when the Pope said, “if a homosexual seeks God with good in his heart, who am I to judge’- reporters falsely claimed this as support for homosexual behavior; when in truth, the Pope figured we all knew that when Anyone seeks God with good in our hearts, we seek the Word of God, The Holy Bible…but reporters conveniently ignored that particular truth. There are many such examples if you’ll read the actual speeches of the Pope, then the ‘reported analysis’ of reporters, and then understand our faith as per The Holy Bible. we walk a razors edge, living in the material world, while striving for our spiritual life. Many fail even as they claim success. I know my missteps have caused me pain & anguish; but I remember, the path I want is narrow, difficult, and uphill, all the way; even until my last breath.

  • olinda

    That happens 46 before Easter…and the ashes is put in your front head on the first Wednesday and is consider a sacrament.

  • Joe Rathwell

    Ihs

    what do you mean good Catholics, and you wonder why a good chunk of the world cant stand us

  • tiaraboo

    Thank you for your heart felt response!!! Let’s always be on the side of goood, Right and Pure!!!

  • Marilou Ygoa

    True. I second Amy’s suggestion.
    Bishop Fulton Sheen has very incisive, clear, down-to-earth
    lectures on just about any point or aspect of the Catholic Faith. It
    would be well worth our time to read or listen to them. Just google his
    name adding “on Communism”. He had a good sense of humor too.