Posted by: fvbcdm | February 17, 2015

Feast of Seven Founders of the Servite Order  (17 Feb 2015)

This day has gone by many names in the history of the Church. It has been called “carnival,” from the Latin “carni vale” meaning “goodbye to meat” since so little meat was eaten during Lent in the early days. It has been called Fat Tuesday, which in French is “Mardi Gras.” It has been called Pancake Tuesday because in the days of more strict fasting and abstaining, meat drippings were not allowed in Lent, so the housewives would use their accumulated drippings and lard to make pancakes on the day before Ash Wednesday. And more seriously, it was called Shrove Tuesday. “To shrive” is an old English term for “to forgive sins,” which is what happens in the Sacrament of Penance. So people would go to confession today to be “shriven” in preparation for Lent.

Being a native of New Orleans, this day is filled with memories and associations for me, and today in particular I think of, and pray for, all those whose lives were  so terribly disrupted and made difficult by the hurricanes and flooding of 2005. I can remember that, during World War II which coincided with my high school years, we had no Mardi Gras in New Orleans because of the war, and the day before Ash Wednesday just didn’t seem right to be an ordinary day when it should have been one of such merry-making and excitement.

Let us thank our Lord, Jesus Christ, for the graces we have received and rededicate ourselves to His service during all our tomorrows, both the sober days of Lent and the glorious days of Easter. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note: This message was composed some years ago.

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