Fat Tuesday

The Fight Between Carnival and Lent by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1559

Today is Shrove Tuesday in England, in France it is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) and in Italy it is called Martedí Grasso and is the climax of Carnival, from the Italian "Carne levare" or the Latin "Carne vale". In English the term Shrove Tuesday comes from the word shrive, meaning "confess".

Today is the day we go to Confession, and make a special point of self-examination; of considering what wrongs we need to repent, what ways we need to mend our lives, and what areas of spiritual growth we especially need to ask God's help in dealing with.

Becoming true disciples means turning to God. This may be a new thing for us; we have to first of all come to a position where we recognise who we are-and who God IS-a process of repentance & restitution, the twin towers of prayer. Rowan Williams explains it this way in his book Insubstantial Evil:
"...to read the world accurately is also to repent...that accurate reading of the world arises from the renewal of my own creaturely relation to God, my own shift into a relation to God that worthily represents what God truly is, and that thus overcomes the evil which is constituted by imperfect, corrupt or nonsensical pictures of the divine"
Tomorrow, we head into the desert with Jesus. We have a real opportunity this Lenten season to walk with Him, listening attentively to His word. What is He saying to you?

Our Lenten observance isn't just about giving stuff up, be sure to accompany your fasting with prayer, because it is prayer that gets you right with God and with others, and the first step is learning our place before God.

You might want to set yourself a task like reading one of the Gospels all the way through, or saying the Rosary every day. Whatever it is, make a commitment today to get closer to God over the coming weeks.


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