Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras, translated to Fat Tuesday, is the final boisterous and extravagant celebration before Lent begins. The name derives from the celebration ~ eating everything that was rich and fatty before the 40 days of fasting that is Lent.

The day has another name as well: Shrove Tuesday. This name comes from the term shrive, meaning confess or atone. After the celebrations, people would want to confess their sins, atone for their wrong-doings as they went forward into the season of Lent and on to Easter. People who observe Shrove Tuesday examine the amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they want and need God's help and support to accomplish it. It prepares them to look more closely at the direction they want to take during Lent.

Since 2015 is a year of change ~ exciting and daunting all at the same time ~ perhaps Shrove Tuesday is a time to reflect on those changes, to examine the heart to see what needs to be let go, to be confessed, to be forgiven. For most of us, it's nothing huge or overwhelming. It's the little things ~ overlooking trash thrown in the street, taking a ream of paper from work, ignoring a phone call that might interrupt our plans. Small steps outside of our best moments of integrity, compassion, courage. Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, is the time for both reflection and celebration.

What calls to you to change? What needs your forgiveness? How can you incorporate those moments of your better self into your daily routine? Who will grant you absolution?

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