A lot of talk on the blog of late about forgiveness-seeking as a public response to Ash Wednesday. At lunch today, my friend John Hardie told the story of his recent effort to bring Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians to Ash Wednesday services in Catholic churches - John talked to Catholic leaders beforehand. The Pentecostals were nervous, but reluctantly willing. At the sermon, the Catholic priest welcomed the nervous guests with genuine warmth and then, remarkably, unexpectedly apologized for his Church's sins against these Protestant Christians. The Pentecostals exhaled. The two sides engaged; they spoke to each other - as friends in our Lord.
What a remarkable witness: life breathed on bones - longstanding prejudices - previously left for dead.