I received the 13 May issue of OUR SUNDAY VISITOR yesterday (15 May), and I read with interest an article on the topic of the ashes of Ash Wednesday. The writer, one Msgr. Mannion, noted that in earlier centuries, penitents were expected to keep wearing ashes for a significant period of time.
Which brings to my mind two questions.
If a local Priest were to offer you a daily dose of ashes on your forehead for the entire period of Lent, as a penance, would you accept that penance? On a strictly voluntary basis, of course.:o
But should you do such a public penance? Would there be a danger of slipping over into Spiritual Pride at wearing ashes daily? OK, in the earlier centuries, when just about everyone was Catholic, and penitents were thick on the ground, this would probably not be a problem. But in the 21st Century? :
My own answers would be yes and yes, but I would have to get permission from my Spiritual Director first.:yup: