Burnt Ashes

Ash Wednesday is here … The ashes come from last year’s burnt palms not given out on Palm Sunday before Easter.

Hopelessness on first view


It’s a Catholic tradition in my mind. Actually it grew out of the Western Christianity. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” as I would hear growing up. Supposedly it was changed to “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” centuries later. That seems to make a better thought, certainly mental image.

All I heard growing up was prepare for death as you won’t know when it’s coming. Made sense, but to a 6 or 7 year old … me … it destroyed a good portion of hope … actually a lot in me and increased the strength of any other fears I had! This is my first time confessing that!

Kinda like Bill Cosby’s skit of the bedtime prayer … “Now I lay me down to sleep…”uh huh!

Study that over weeks of Catechism along with the idea that you can only go to heaven if you’re a Catholic. No one else can go to heaven. What about my friends and my grandfather?!

I thought too much as a kid and still do. I am told often, I over explain all the details. That’s a general consensus!

I was foolish and asked, what happens to the Jews if they’re God’s people like Abraham and Rebecca and the rest of them? Wasn’t Mary Jewish? Told you I thought too much!

Simply it too started me on a life long quest for the ‘real’ truth and nothing but!

My upcoming book “What have you got to lose” will go into more detail. However, that’s not how the book started.

The history of it started around 1957. Since then I have been accused of trying to defame the Catholic church and I WILL go to hell along with many other very strong opinions. Then there are others saying to me, I believe in the Catholic church and I am a good Catholic as if asking me to confirm that? I was also asked how did you come to these absurd ideas.

Over the years I also have been asked how in hell are you practicing Islam and then practicing some Buddhist activities and much more . Now you’re really going to hell! Ok. You’ll have to read the book when It comes out … K?

Ash Wednesday starts a 40 day period, excluding Sundays called Lent to fast and sacrifice. It comes from the Lord’s 40 days in the desert fasting in the bible.
Still, in my mind, it emphasized to prepare for death. So why bring it up? I know I get depressed enough without any help!

However in my life long search for truth I consider the time (Lent) to be better spent getting excited now!

Not that fasting is good or bad or will even get you brownie points. It’s for you just like forgiveness. It’s to help you!

I believe that anyone who doesn’t have a ‘faith’ is already doomed! There is no hope of any kind throughout their lives (even atheists) without some kind of ‘faith’.

I am working on becoming both a good Christian and Messianic Jew. It’s been a long journey but a rewarding one for me!

Over Lent I start to remember what God has done for me. He loves me for sure and you too and anyone you can think of. He’s never asked anything from any of us. He just does!

We’re just one step down from the angels I understand. Why would anyone of sound mind consider making someone like us! He did though.

Consider this. As parents we will and would do anything for our kids. Why? We simply want to be loved and watch how our children grow to know each other and us the parents. Are we appreciated and loved? Have we made a difference in their lives and do they know it?

How many choose us? How many turn their backs on us? It’s incredibly painful I think, but in the end those that choose us do so willingly because they’ve come to know us and want to be with us.

God didn’t need more angels, but he wanted and needed us! He created us imperfect and with a fatal flaw. How could God be sure we really loved Him? He gave us a choice and loved us so much. He didn’t want even one to be lost! No not one but some would be. He wanted us to have every wonderful chance possible so His son said I can go and will go because I love you.

Knowing what terrible and horrific things that would be done to Him and placed on Him. God said go then.

I like to think Jesus said I hope I can bring them all back. Father, I go even if I can bring only one back because I love you Dad. I know how much you love them as well and they need to know they have a way back if they so choose!

So, I get excited as I learn more and get to know God and love Him in more and more ways. In fact I sometimes dance and sing though poorly, it is music to my God.

Now instead of preparing for death each day, I work at living while asking what can I do to find more joy today helping another!

This is not a joke but my real life. I fall and fail a lot and I can’t give up because He’s never given up on me! I am still learning but I have a new and better attitude than I learned as a child. God’s teaching me but I’m a slow learner but He’s patient. Really!

Another Reader’s Digest Condensed version!

Join me for Easter 2016! God Bless! Rick

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