Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fat Tuesday 

We were surprised to receive several different invitations to Mardi Gras parties this year, our first year at our Catholic Church. I took Spanish in high school, not French, so I didn't even realize that "Mardi Gras" means "Fat Tuesday" in French. I asked our priest last night whether Mardi Gras is a Catholic thing & he said it was more of a French thing. But here's an article: "The Catholic Roots of Mardi Gras" that discusses the linkage. I don't recall Mardi Gras ever being dicussed or enjoyed in my Methodist days, while here, our Catholic women's group is hosting a Mardi Gras party right at the church.

And since we're talking foreign languages, notice "Carnival" is from the Latin "carne vale" which means, "farewell to the flesh." I read somewhere, yesterday, that the season of Lent is approximately one tenth of a year (40 days out of 365 days long)... so the abstinence and self-denial, the fasting and the almsgiving, the prayers and the focus on the season is really a tithing of our year, given up for God. To start that tithing with a big, self-indulgent party goes against my Methodist grain, but I'm willing to learn.

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