Shrove Tuesday 2014

Last year, when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had just announced his resignation, I said we faced a Shrove Tuesday like no other. I little thought that this year I would say the same. The situation in the Crimea casts a long shadow, making the delights of pancakes and carnival seem trivial by comparison, yet the more solemn aspect of the day, the going to Confession, seems especially apt. Personal sin and what one might call communal sin are related. The standards by which we live our private lives inevitably spill over into our public lives. I am sure we can all think of instances of greed, brutality and dishonesty which first manifested themselves in domestic situations but then went on to create terror and havoc on a much larger scale.

While we pray today for the people of Ukraine we might also examine our own consciences about the ways in which we have lived a double-standard and the consequences for others of our own sins. Repentance isn’t just about saying sorry to God and having a firm purpose of amendment. It also means trying to put right what we have done wrong. Thank God we are given forty days in which to work hard at that.

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2 thoughts on “Shrove Tuesday 2014”

  1. Thanks for another thoughtful reminder before Lent begins. I have decided to read the Gospel of St John (one of your suggested texts) thanks for helping me focus – much better not to let personal choice dictate. Lectio Divina is something I have to work at but will help me make the most of the period of time. I do find it rewarding and often a source of clarity when wrestling with tricky issues such as repentance or how to act/think about world problems like those in the Ukriane – which can all be overwhelming if not backed up by something substantial and illuminating.

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