Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Tuesday. Call it what you want, it is the day before Ash Wednesday, and the day before the Church's great penitential season of Lent.
Lent is a time of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting... sounds pretty daunting -- and kind of unsettling. It's probably a good thing though for us to be a little unsettled. It's good to re-examine our spiritual life, our relationship with God, and our relationship with others. Pope Benedict XVI points out in the opening line of his 2008 Lenten message:
Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters.
I think all of us can probably use a rediscovery of mercy in our lives, and we can all probably show more mercy to those around us. One expression of mercy is almsgiving -- which is the focus of the Holy Father's Lenten Message. To read the message in its entirety click HERE