Thursday, February 18, 2010


Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Some friends I know went to the hospital chapel and got ashes! One of them was chased down a hall by a manager trying to tell them that they had something on their face. Another younger co worker walked into the break room where an older co worker looked at him and asked "Do you belong to a cult?"
It takes all kinds, doesn't it? While the tradition probably has been around for centuries, it is still something we don't see a lot of these days. I admit I'm not the most religious person around, in fact, far from it but I was baptized Catholic.
My dad became furious with the Catholic church after the priest was asking everyone to basically give up everything in sacrifice so that they could give to the church. I don't understand that kind of mentality and neither did my dad. We tend to belong to the Charity of self preservation which I think is more in line with the world. That doesn't mean I never give to charity. I do when I can and when I want to. If movie theatres operated the way churches do would they stay in business long? Passing a hat at the exits for the show? Could they possibly function that way? I think not. Most would leave before the credits came and skip out. So why do non-profit charities and churches operate in this manner? I really would like to know, because I haven't a clue. It would make for an interesting world I know that. You go to a restaurant and have a great meal but the waitress sucked at the end and didn't give you your last drink or something, so by today's standards you just would adjust your tip, but by the hat method what would you do? cheat the chief and others who did well by not paying as much or not at all. Oh and the envelope idea? hm mm let's really conceal how much your going to cheat them by not showing how much your supposedly giving. I'm beginning to re-think this concept. You need gas for your car but you have no cash, so you pull in and fill up and ask for an envelope where upon you place a note in saying you'll put twice as much in on the next fill-up!
The possibilities are endless.
I went to a Joel Osteen sermon a while back. Now my sister paid for the tickets and I have to admit it was quite an inspirational show, but I wasn't expecting them to pass the hat around after everyone supposedly had bought tickets for it but sure enough they did. We chose not to put in.
I saw a jar at a Chinese restaurant check out counter that read: "Tipping is not in China" I had to laugh. I never know if we are supposed to tip on take-out? I always do because they still have to prepare everything and get it all packaged up. I just don't tip as much. I always equate giving at the church with tipping. Is this wrong?
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  1. as for passing the hat
    I learned my lesson early
    I had nothing growing up
    and on sundays I was given a quarter
    to give to the church
    and the nuns had always said
    god helps those who help themselves
    so I chose no church for me
    I'd rather be playing in the trees
    and running all about
    having fun
    and hey it was 1968 and 25 cents
    was a lot of money!
    I give when my heart tells me
    and I do it daily
    in many many ways
    the ashes of the past
    don't haunt me
    they just come up and make me laugh :)

  2. I could really speak on this one for LOTS of reasons!!! Having been brought up going to church (not Catholic), done lots of volunteering and also worked there I am well rehearsed on some of the whys of the practices. Yes, there has been abuse by some who compelled people to do things they shouldn't ~using guilt. Envelope idea, because giving is between the people and God and NOT for the ushers, etc. to see. AND some use cash and it is a way to track giving by individuals for tax purposes....not the motive of giving but a practical matter. I have heard of some churches, though rare, who do NOT pass the hat. Ash Wednesday and ashes....yeah, have been there with peeps looking at you funny and telling you that you have dirt on your forehead. :-)

  3. Luna, I think God would be happy with us playing in the trees to celebrate life and our love of him. Sounds like we had similar upbringing, and yes 25 cents in those days could actually buy something!

    Thank you for another insightful reply! That makes sense. I was partially making fun of the envelope idea. I remember as a kid having cash to put in given to me by my dad but he always used the envelope. The ashes is pretty odd that nobody thinks or remembers the significance.