The ashes are a blessing?
I don't think that's what's going on when the Catholic Church distributes ashes on this day. Rather, it is a powerful reminder in sensible sign of precisely what is uttered at the distribution: "Remember, man, you are dust, and to dust you shall return." But I just finished reading a local newspaper article on Ash Wednesday that featured Pastor Dawn and her Lord of Life Lutheran Church. With all due respect to the members of other Christian communities, it is an injustice and, it seems to me, sloppy journalism that the article didn't feature a Catholic church. But I digress. Apparently, at Lord of Life, the ash distribution is a blessing. So says Pastor Dawn. I guess outside of the visible confines of the sheepfold, it can take on whatever meaning one wants.