Last week was Ash Wednesday, and I got ashes for the first time in a long time. It’s been several years since I did anything special for Ash Wednesday, so I’d forgotten precisely how it felt to have the Sign of the Cross traced on my forehead in ash. I felt…proud. I was happy to be carrying that ash on my face. I was glad to know that everyone I encountered that day would know what I believed and that I thought it was important to get to church that day. It was nice to have a visible statement of my Faith. Granted, I always try to live out the Faith in regular, everyday life, no special ashes required, but having a visible statement for just one day felt good.