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Pancakes and purging

Jesus was in the desert to be purged of anything in this world that tempted him to stray from his reason for being.

Br. Curtis Almquist SSJE

Last night a dear friend asked me what pancakes had to do with Mardi Gras, and I realized not everyone knows about Pancake Suppers and Shrove Tuesday.

Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French, and that is today! It is the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins, the 40 days and 40 nights when we fast and are penitent in remembrance of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness being tempted by darkness and pride.

We eat pancakes on Fat Tuesday to use up whatever is in our cupboards that we want to do without during the season of penitence...flour, butter, sugar and such.

But in Curtis Almquist's words above, we hear what might be another approach to this season of Lent...purging ourselves from whatever tempts us to stray from our reason for being.

In conversation with friends yesterday, I learned that Lent is not just about penitence but also Jesus's time in the wilderness he discerned his reason for being, turned toward his ministry and then it began. So too could we spend this time purging whatever stands in our way of discerning our reason for being...converting to a way of being free from temptation.

Somehow, I doubt pancakes are the only thing we need to purge!


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