Fat Tuesday and the Beginning of Lent

I’ve been given a work laptop.  Yep.  I’m actually pretty stoked since I never would have gotten this far in my career at my previous job.  However, with great power comes great responsibility, and now I feel compelled to set back up to work again as soon as I get home.  I’ll have to work on finding a work/life balance again.

So, it’s Mardi Gras, and I’m sure that naked people are flooding the streets of New Orleans, beads flying through the air, drunk people becoming celebrities for the upcoming season of Cops….and so on/so forth.  We’re ending our Fat Tuesday with a steak and potato dinner, tiramisu, and a few Reese’s cups before the coming day of repentance tomorrow.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find somewhere to go to get ashes, but even if not, I’ll keep my spirit and focus in that direction.

It bothers me how Southern Baptists (in general) tend to write off just about every tradition of the Catholic church immediately without paying attention to the history or meaning behind it.  There’s great reason to continue to pay attention to the tradition and liturgy of the Catholic Church; we can’t simply write off the first fifteen hundred years of our faith, you know?  Anyway, here’s a brief explanation of Lent in the event that any of my Baptist friends find it useful.  I think there’s a level of mystery in the Catholic denomination for Protestants on the more fundamentalist side of things.  Although I certainly don’t identify myself as fundamentalist, my circle of friends includes many of them, and the hushed tones in which they say, “s/he’s…..Catholic” is a little funny.  I find the traditions and practices to be pretty intriguing…we can’t really fault them for their shortcomings (perhaps in being caught up too much in traditions and not emphasizing the individual’s direct access to God) when we, as Southern Baptists, have so many of our own (continuing to argue over drinking, caring for animals/the environment, equating Christianity with the Republican Party…).

My, I’ve rambled on so.  Sorry about that…lots of thinking about Catholicism the past few days.  I’ve been trying to figure out what I need to give up for Lent, and the past couple of days, I’ve felt the unhappy tug of something that I didn’t really want to hear.  Sugar.  Sugar???  Yes, Sugar.  It’s become an idol for me, and it’s literally killing me.  So, starting tomorrow, I’m abstaining.

 

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