Posted by Eric (February 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm)
Today is Mardi Gras—Fat Tuesday—the day of feasting before Lent begins in the the Western Church. For a Byzantine Catholic, whose Lenten fast began Sunday evening with Forgiveness Vespers, Mardi Gras presents a particular temptation. But not what you might think.
It is not that one is tempted by the indulgence of Mardi Gras going on in the rest of the culture, even among those who do not know that Fat Tuesday is followed Ash Wednesday.
In fact, it is the opposite temptation: the temptation to be like the Pharisee who, in the Byzantine Rite we recalled three weeks ago on the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, one of the Weeks of Preparation in advance of the Great Fast: “God, I thank thee that I am not like other men . . . (more…)