Thank you all very much for all the birthday greetings! As I write this post, it is the day after my 38th birthday, which is usually not so much cause for celebration but it happens to also be Pancake Tuesday or by its other name, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the connection between Mardi Gras and the liturgical season of Lent, allow me to clarify. Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of lent which is the period of forty days of fasting and abstinence in preparation for Easter, which also last forty days. In time when there was no refrigeration, it was customary to "clean the fat" out of the pantries by having a great big feast the Tuesday before ash Wednesday...hence Pancakes!!!
By the way, in case some of you don't know, Sundays do not count as days of fasting or abstinence which is why if you did the math, the forty days of lent always seem longer than the forty days of Easter (yes that means that you can have chocolate on Sundays during lent)
I have always found the correlation of science, psychology and religious practice fascinating.....
The purpose of the lenten season for adults is to examine any particular vices we have that may be impeding our relationship with God, our families or our personal growth and to "give them up" in exchange for behaviors that are healthier, more positive and lead us to become better people. And we actively, consciously practice these behaviors for the forty days of Lent.
Incidentally, psychological research has shown that it takes between three to six weeks to create a habit, which is precisely the length of the lenten season! Hmmmmm
Anyway, over the years I have come up with several creative lenten practices however for this post I thought I would pass on suggestions of what NOT to give up for lent:
- Shoes, especially if you live in Canada at this time of year.
- Brushing your teeth, unless you want everyone else around you to do penance too.
- Fibre (that was probably my worst lent ever)
- Sarcasm (that was actually harder than giving up fibre)
- Your job
- Complimenting your wife, unless you like sleeping in the garage.
- Cleaning around the house
Incidentally if you want to be particularly penitential this lenten season, give up coffee cold turkey.....
Enjoy your pancakes!!