Today is Fat Tuesday. Traditionally it was a time when all would purge their homes of sugar and fat prior to Lent. Naturally, one would not want to waste of these ingredients. So arose (in this abbreviated and imprecise history) the delectable pastry known as the Paczi.
More than just the Paczi, Fat Tuesday is often taken to be a day of profound excess. Excess in alcohol, ice cream, junk food, etc. While I fully get behind the mindset of “feast before fast” as it pertains to Lent, one needs to be careful not to slip into gluttony.
That being said… enjoy!
Regarding Lent, this period before Easter is a wonderful time to purify the body, the mind, and the soul from the “junk” that can accumulate over time. Be encouraged to use it this year to focus your efforts in the pursuit of virtue to moderate all things and examine your wants versus needs.
What does this mean? If you are itching for a new 50 inch high-definition plasma TV, perhaps wait until after Lent to by it. During this time, examine your family’s finances and see if that money couldn’t be better spent elsewhere (i.e. paying of other debts). Doing so will also insure that watching it won’t be a distraction from entering in to this season of preparation.
If you are inclined to buy new CD’s or download MP3’s, hold off and offer it up until after Lent. Then before you buy them, evaluate how much you have really missed them. Are you inclined to browse eBay or Craigslist or any other store’s website to check for the newest, latest and greatest? Put it on hold until Easter and see what sort of fruit such actions bear.
The point it to focus on what can be eliminated starting tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, so that your preparation for Easter can be optimal spiritually, physically, and mentally. This even means to moderate your exercise if you are doing too much and it is getting in the way of your vocation. Reflect on these things and how they may or may not impact you. Do it with a brutal honesty. Ask someone who knows you well if you need some outside direction. Those around us often see us more clearly than we do.
Whatever the case is, pursue a simplicity that will bear great spiritual fruit this season. You will be better for it and your Easter celebration will be more involved and life-giving than ever!