A Mardigras Prayer

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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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Lent , Prayers
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Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday") and Carnival ("Farewell to Meat") precede Ash Wednesday and Lent around the world, even where Lent has ceased to have much religious meaning. It was natural to develop a festival, a "last fling," before the prayerful fasting and abstinence of Lent.|How can we give this day before Ash Wednesday some religious meaning for us?|It may be that we are going to a Mardi Gras party and there will be much feasting. Our country may celebrate Carnival with gusto. Perhaps we can have a special family dinner together, with meat. |What's important is that we let our feasting anticipate our fasting. One way to do that is to begin to focus on the meaning of the day, when we first get up. It can create a sense of anticipation all day, that something very new is about to begin tomorrow.|We can prepare for whatever we will do, no matter how purely "social" or simply ordinary our day will be. Knowing why we go to a party, or enjoying the planning or preparation for a special meal, will add much meaning to this day. |Our Prayer|In these or similar words, we can pray in the spirit of this day. |Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for it is from your goodness that we have this day to celebrate on the threshold of the Season of Lent. |Tomorrow we will fast and abstain from meat. Today we feast. We thank you for the abundance of gifts you shower upon us. We thank you especially for one another. As we give you thanks, we are mindful of those who have so much less than we do. As we share these wonderful gifts together, we commit ourselves to greater generosity toward those who need our support. |Prepare us for tomorrow. Tasting the fullness of what we have today, let us experience some hunger tomorrow. May our fasting make us more alert and may it heighten our consciousness so that we might be ready to hear your Word and respond to your call. |As our feasting fills us with gratitude so may our fasting and abstinence hollow out in us a place for deeper desires and an attentiveness to hear the cry of the poor. May our self-denial turn our hearts to you and give us a new freedom for generous service to others. |We ask you these graces with our hearts full of delight and stirring with readiness for the journey ahead. We ask them with confidence in the name of Jesus the Lord.
Creighton University, Online Ministries
These brief excerpts are taken from our Lenten resources, to support a community's Lenten Journey. Feel Free to "cut and paste" any of these texts for Parish Bulletinss or Worship Aids. Simpy add this reference: "Taken from the Praying Lent pages of Creighton University's Online Ministries web site: www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html. Used with Permission."
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