Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Where do you get your ashes?

I received ashes at our Morning Prayer, right after the psalmody this morning. Very nice. The prioress also distributed them before noon prayer. Many of our employees and friends come by for them, too.

I however have two Ash Wednesday stories: one 20 years old, the other, brand new. First the old one. One of our faculty members was on her way home one Ash Wednesday and realized that she hadn't been able to get ashes as one of her homeroom girls needed attention during the service and she had missed going up for them at the school Mass. Not wanting to face her husband's questions (he was a great guy, but she was tired and didn't want to get into the day's adventures) so she improvised--as she admitted to us sheepishly the next day. She reached down to the floor mat of her car and fashioned the cross on her forehead with the "ashes" she found there! Jack never knew the difference! What a card this gal was...and very clever. We assured her that God would not hold this against her!

This year Erie is fully into alternative ashes distribution. So one of our employees, who missed getting up, on her day off, to get them with us or at an early Mass, took her friend's advice and drove into a local Presbyterian church who advertised "Drive through ashes for Ash Wednesday." (Or as one of our sisters said, "They're giving drive-by ashes all over town.") Everything was going fine until she noticed a photographer from our local newspaper. She tried to beg off, "I work for the Benedictines, I don't know how they'd feel about this," she tried to plead. But, he was not to be deterred and voila, there she was on the paper's afternoon website in a full Ash Wednesday drive-through pose with fresh ashes on her forehead. Can't wait to see if it makes the morning newspaper tomorrow, also!

Thanks, Greg, (photographer) and Robin (minister), both friends of the community, for attending to our Health Services Director--who, with all she deals with caring for the 90 of us and our health needs, can use all the help she can get--Presbyterian ashes or not!