Ash Wednesday is full of joy...The source of all sorrow is the illusion that of ourselves we are anything but dust.
“Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19”― Bible
Nevertheless, the liturgy of Ash Wednesday is not focussed on the sinfulness of the penitent but on the mercy of God. The question of sinfulness is raised precisely because this is a day of mercy, and the just do not need a savior.
I'm a sinner. I don't always love God as strongly as I could or as directly as I should. Ash Wednesday reminds me that it is only through God that I have life; He gave it to me. God forgives. He loves. And He gives this sinner a second chance. Put simply: my God kicks ash.
Even the darkest moments of the liturgy are filled with joy, and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast.
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly But merely vans to beat the air The air which is now thoroughly small and dry Smaller and dryer than the will Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.
Since the Icelandic volcano obviously needs a virgin sacrifice and the Catholic Church obviously needs new leadership the Pope must volunteer to jump in the volcano. Pontiff, don't think of it as endorsing paganism, think of it as supersizing Ash Wednesday.