Category Archives: Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras!

Alright, so I fully realize that Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is not really a Catholic holiday per se, but let me be honest.

Lent is a lot less scary when celebrating Mardi Gras.

Yes, tomorrow I will be famished, and walk around with ashes on my forehead. My sudden enactment of resolutions will make New Year’s look like child’s play. I’ll be praying, fasting, working out, eating better, doing everything possible to clean up my spiritual house.

But not today. Today, is Mardi Gras.

I like to think of it as Catholic Procrastination Day.

One day a year, (or if you are more like me, one week a year!) I try not to be so dang hard on myself. I eat too many sweets, we go out to eat too much. I sit around and watch TV all day and neglect my morning prayers for sleeping in. I don’t work enough, the house is filthy with dishes I don’t feel like cleaning.

So picture a fat slob with cookie crumbs all over his chest as he lies around watching TV all day, and you’ll be getting close. Tomorrow I will get it put back together.

But not today. Today, is Mardi Gras.

There is a side benefit to this attitude that maybe you haven’t thought of before. After a week of being a couch potato, I’m flat out getting excited about tomorrow. It was fun for a day or two, but at this point, I can’t help but realize I don’t really want to live like this. I’m sure to gain five pounds this week, and it will feel so good to get it off next week. My stomach hurts from all the bad food, and I really want my kitchen to be clean again.

I feel fat, lazy, uninspired. I have to be honest. In reality, this kind of living is rather boring. I could never accept myself as this kind of person. Everything in me screams that I can be a better man than this.

But not today. Today, is Mardi Gras.

Ash Wednesday is starting to sound quite exciting.

The Looming Desert

One week and counting. Lent is on it’s way, and no force on earth can stop it. How are you preparing for a Holy Lent? Me, I’ve got two plans. Live up Mardi Gras, and start thinking now about my big three before Ash Wednesday sneaks up on me.

Mardi Gras!

That’s right, Fat Tuesday is around the corner, so why wait till then to begin getting out that last bit of fun before Lent hits us full force?

Quick trivia, Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, also often called Pancake Tuesday, because one of the things traditionally given up for Lent was fat. So folks would use up all the fat they had around the house, to make things like pancakes. So feel free to relive the tradition and start heating up the griddle. I like mine with mickey mouse ears and bananas, if you are curious.

In my family, we don’t go out to eat at all during Lent, so we end up going out a bit too much during this last week. It’s our last chance to hit our favorite Mexican restaurant, so this week, we eat like kings. Not nearly as well as we will eat Easter week, but you get the idea.

Another thing we do this week is lay off our regular prayer schedule. Lent is a time for us to really get on track in our lives, and so we take a breath this week to prepare for the plunge. I don’t normally recommend stopping prayer, but maybe shift it to something a little more fun and lively this week, and save your nightly rosary for next week. (Still pray, just sing songs or find something fun and different!)

Lent is my favorite season of the year, but part of the fun is preparing. Make it fun, and your family will actually look forward to Lent!

Having fun the week before Ash Wednesday isn’t enough preparation though, and you know it.

This is your chance to really get back on track. You know you have fallen off the wagon in some areas of your life, and this is the perfect moment to get back in order. Maybe you need to lose a few pounds cause you’ve been eating too much sweets. Maybe you know your prayer life isn’t where it is supposed to be. Maybe you have been getting a bit stingy and not being the generous person you are called be.

That is what Lent is for. Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Time to pony up and get yourself back in line.

I will post plenty about the joys of Lent over the coming weeks, but I wanted to give you a chance to really get ready for Lent this year. I don’t want you to be caught off guard. It’s next Wednesday, be ready.

By the way, don’t tell me you are giving up chocolate for Lent. That’s not gonna fly with me buddy. If you are bothering reading my blog, then I know you must be a better Catholic than that. I expect three things.

What you are giving up, as for myself, I’m giving up soda, and fasting completely on Fridays.

What prayer you are adding to your life, I’m going to add the Office of Readings to my Hours.

What alms you are going to give, I am doubling my tithe. (My soda bill should cover that!)

So you better be thinking about all three questions. I’ll be watching you.