mardi gras or lent?
"Where do the conflicts and disputes among you originate? Is it not your inner cravings that make war within your members?" —James 4:1
Tomorrow, we observe Ash Wednesday and begin the season of Lent. Today, some people observe the custom called Mardi Gras. This is a French expression, meaning "Fat Tuesday." On this day before Lent, some people make provision for the desires of the flesh (see Rm 13:14) and indulge these desires (see 1 Pt 2:11). The results of Mardi Gras as practiced in our times are that people live in darkness (Rm 13:12) and wage war against their own souls (1 Pt 2:11). This inner war due to indulging our inner cravings eventually results in an exterior war marked by conflicts, disputes, murder, envy, quarreling, and fighting (Jas 4:1-2).
Today, we can begin a civil war or prepare to begin Lent. We can submit to God, resist the devil, and cause him to flee (Jas 4:7), or we can submit to our worldly desires, resist God, and be put to flight. We can cleanse our hands and hearts (Jas 4:8) or defile ourselves. We can humbly cry in repentance for our sins or laugh at sin, guilt, and Confession (see Jas 4:9). We can humble ourselves and be exalted, or we can exalt ourselves and be humbled (Jas 4:10). Lent and Mardi Gras don't fit together. Which one do you want?
Prayer: Father, by Your grace I decide to crucify my "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24).
Promise: "If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all." —Mk 9:35
Praise: St. Peter worked tirelessly for reform but was filled with joy to return to the simple duties of a monk after serving as abbot, bishop, and advisor to the pope.
Reference: (Increase your prayer time this coming Lent. To help, order our tape Daily Prayers on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.