Today is Shrove Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent. To shrive someone, in old-fashioned English (he shrives, he shrove, he has shriven) is to hear his acknowledgment of his sins, to assure him of God’s forgiveness, and give him appropriate spiritual advice.
Shrove Tuesday is also called Fat Tuesday, because on that day thrifty housewives use up all the fats (bacon grease, lard, etc.) that she has saved up for cooking, but won’t use during the Lenten season. Since pancakes were a standard way to use up fat, many people dined on them on Shrove Tuesday. That’s the reason way many churches, including my own, have Pancake Suppers tonight.
So, as we mark the beginning of Lent tomorrow, let’s prepare our hearts and minds for this penitential season by thinking about ways in which we can be more Christ-like. Some people look upon Lent as a time of drudgery, but it doesn’t have to be that way. God wants to make something new with us. Let’s use the next forty days as a time of introspection, seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness.
If we do, the joy that comes with Easter will be glorious.