It is a funny paradox that this is one of the things the Church has to
say to us on Ash Wednesday, precisely the day when we all rise from our
seats and return to them only after having donned the ostentatious
ashes on our foreheads. Why? Precisely because this is not an act of piety
nor a boast. One might as well claim that a beggar wearing a barrel in
public was looking for applause. The ashes on our forehead betoken not
our splendor, but our poverty not our nobility, but our wretchedness
not our wonderfulness, but our need of a Savior from the ashes to which
we shall return. It is no boast to publicly acknowledge our need of a
Savior. It is simply sober common sense and the very first thing the
Church has to proclaim to the world. Today, wear the ashes with humility
and let people see what you are made of.
Just a Word of Encouragement from Mark Shea and Jeff Cavins.