That may seem to be a harsh or morbid subject to accompany this picture. Is it any less true for babies? (This particular baby being my three-month-old daughter, Ruth).
More importantly, though, I think there is something in the levity of a baby receiving ashes that is easy to miss for “serious” Catholics – namely, perhaps we are sometimes too serious about ourselves. Perhaps there is great truth in the notion that a baby does not think any more of herself than what she is – if she really thinks that much about herself at all.
If the majority of our time could be spent in carefully attending to – and punctuated by wonder at – the souls around us, then maybe it is not so harsh a thing to say, “You are dust.” In the context of such a truth you see how wondrous the Lord is.