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Letter: Find the stillness in the midst of chaos

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

It’s not all syrup and pancakes …

Shrove Tuesday—Fat Tuesday—Mardi Gras is upon us! Many churches and community organizations (including my own) will be serving up pancakes and other gastro-delights. Some will use it for fund raising and others for community bonding; we will burn palms and bury “alleluias” in anticipation of Lent.

Next Tuesday’s function of removing any leavening and lard in the home before the Lenten fast has become a tradition that has morphed from its original intent (Shrove Tuesday) to a contemporary extravagance (Mardi Gras). What once was a practical meal to empty the pantry of leaven and lard, has become the parading symbol of indulgence. A corruption, I might suggest, that parallels our modern appetites.

Shrove Tuesday derives its name from the practice of “being shriven”: it was the day one made their confession prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Beginning a season of fasting with contrition inverts our cont...

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