Considering my username on here is “Shrove,” one might expect me to have something to say about today, Shrove Tuesday.  It is hard for me to put into words why I love Shrove Tuesday so much.  Part of it comes down to the fact that I have the culinary tastes of an eight year old, and pancakes are just one of my favorite foods. This can be reflected in the Thomistic treatise I created in college under the moniker “Pseudo-Thomas Aquinas” about pancakes:

On the Pancakes

Part I, Article One

Whether or not having pancakes for Shrove Tuesday is totally sweet.

Objection 1. It would seem that having pancakes for Shrove Tuesday is in fact not sweet. I for one do not enjoy pancakes; therefore, it is not a universal truth that having pancakes for any time is totally sweet.

Objection 2. Pancakes are not nearly as sweet as Mardi Gras (dude). I much prefer raucous drinking, sex, and the reversal of the roles of the rulers and the peasants. The exchange of nudity for beads far surpasses any love I have for pancakes.

On the Contrary: Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday are in fact sweet. In the first chapter of Genesis, God affirms that his creation is good. Therefore, as part of the creation pancakes are good.

I answer that as part of the created order, Pancakes are awesome on any occasion. Additionally, having pancakes, a food that is generally associated for breakfast, for dinner is even more fun than just having them for breakfast.

Reply Objection 1. Just because you do not enjoy pancakes does not deny the truth that God says that they are totally sweet since they are part of creation.

Reply Objection 2. You clearly have underestimated pancakes for dinner. Pancakes for dinner is truly rare, but it is quite easy to participate in any of those raucous activities any time during the year. Additionally, scripture would seem to affirm that eating yummy pancakes is more pious that raucous sex and drinking.

I love to bring this thing back every year.

However, I think what is at the heart of my affection for Shrove Tuesday is that I start getting journey-proud about Lent.  Lent is season of thirst, repentance, and introspection, so it might not seem like a journey anyone would like to make.  Yet, there is a focus and a depth in our lives during Lent that I find harder to grasp during the rest of the year.  The time in the wilderness must come first, and we must accompany Christ to the Cross.

Truly, there is no Easter without Good Friday.  And yet, knowing where we are headed, receiving that liturgical telos gives a shape to Lent that is gripping.  Shrove Tuesday finds us feasting together, ready to undertake the journey, hoping and praying that the Spirit won’t leave us the same during the journey, that somehow we’ll be different.  However, I don’t want to jump to far into the season before it begins.

There are pancakes to be eaten!

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