Ecclesiam res et talia sermocinamur -

We talk about the Church, stuff, and such

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I look with interest and puzzlement at the rise, in recent years, in popularity of Lent and Ash Wednesday among Proestants. On the one hand, it's enheartening to see Protestants regaining, after 500 years, a sense of the efficacy of physical works. On the other, it's all too often seems to turn into nothing more than another example of misplaced value and half-baked silliness.

What, example, does Lent mean for a Protestant? A time of repentence? But Protestantism still hasn't any place for it -- my faith saves me, or God's predestined will saves me. Whether or not I repent of my sins (if, in fact, I have actually committed any, properly understood) is entirely beside the point. Am I supposed to more strongly feel the pointless, unefficacious, and unassuagable guilt that Protestantism has been marketing since 1517?

OWU's Chaplain Office distributed an email to the Newman mailing list this morning advertising their Ash Wednesday Ecumenical Service, which would "integrate the sacred traditions of Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians." Now, since the Orthodox don't observe Ash Wednesday, and since Protestants haven't a "sacred tradition" really of any sort (much less of Lent and Ash Wednesday), what on earth does this mean? (I mean, there's the fact that we have a word, heresy, for the "integrating of sacred traditions," but that's a bit beside the point.)It certainly doesn't mean the Chaplain is Catholic. The Newman leadership apparently received a very concerned email from someone in the Chaplain's office worried that Catholic students wouldn't come to this ecumenical service to "get their ashes."

Here's a clue, people: I didn't go to Mass this morning to "get my ashes." I went to Mass to get the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of my God and Savior. The ashes are just a reminder of something I've already got.

On a completely unrelated note, where did "Repent and believe in the Good News" come from? I miss "Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return."



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