Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras

Today is Mardi Gras, which translated from French to English means "Fat Tuesday." Traditionally, Mardi Gras is the last day of feasting before the Lenten season (Lent) begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday for Roman Catholics around the world. For Catholics in the Eastern Orthodox rite, the Lenten season began yesterday (known as 'Clean Monday').

Mardi Gras reminds us that this upcoming period of 40 days will be one of spiritual struggle and spiritual renewal, ending with the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday. Sadly, here in the U.S., Mardi Gras is associated with New Orleans and some pretty hedonistic activities for those who do not understand the reason behind the day. The original purpose of the day was to serve as a reminder that we are about to enter a period of penance, and to allow us to reflect on our spiritual lives.

This year for my 40-day fast, I have decided to abstain from all meat as well as sweets (you're supposed to make a sacrifice by giving something up or by doing something extra through your everyday actions, i.e., visiting the elderly, volunteering at a soup kitchen, etc.).

A few years ago I gave up coffee and sweets, and let me tell you, I was a cranky monster. I was not a happy camper. My coworkers asked me to please never again give up coffee, since the combination of me not being a morning person AND not having coffee was not a pleasant sight. ;)

"Therefore I commended mirth, because there was no good for a man under the sun, but to eat, and drink, and be merry." (Ecclesiastes 8:15)

1 comment:

  1. You rock. Great post. Pray for me fasting is so hard for me!

    Have a blessed Ash Wednesday my love.



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