Once again, it's Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the forerunner to the Catholic celebration of Easter. You'll probably see at least a few Catholics with ashy smudges on their foreheads today. This is likely due to their attendance of Mass and not (necessarily) a reflection of their opinion of last night's election results.
Despite appearances, Ash Wednesday and Lent are not a time of funereal mourning or self-flagellation, but rather a reorientation. We pray and meditate, and take time examine our lives, our hobbies, pursuits, and habits, and see whether they are in alignment with our ultimate goal: holiness. The personal Lenten sacrifice is meant to remind us that we do not need earthly things to make us happy, fulfilled, or satisfied. In fact, in Him, we are stronger than we know - and more loved than we deserve.
So welcome to Ash Wednesday: your forty day journey into the desert of faith and discovery starts here.