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Paczki Tuesday is next Tuesday already. Time flies when you're having fun, or when you're not paying attention. For the unititiated, Paczki is a Polish word; it's pronounced Punchkey; I've also heard it pronounced Poonchkey. How you get that pronunciation out of Paczki is beyond me, but then I'm not Polish. (I don't speak Lithuanian either.) A Paczki is a little jelly-doughnut, or a jelly-filled little dough ball, usually covered with some kind of sugar glaze, powdered sugar or frosting of some kind. They come in various sizes and with different fillings and outside sweet coverings. Germans make the same sort of thing and call them Berliners; Austrians call theirs Krapfen.
My wife loves the cream-filled ones; I like the red or blue jelly. The Paczki is a harbringer of the 40 days of abstinence and fasting that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. For forty days there will be no good sweet snacks in the house; so all the sugar and good sweet stuff in the house is to be used up and cooked up in cakes, pies and desert-dishes for Paczki Tuesday, which is the same as Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent.
What doesn't get eaten up on Paczki Tuesday gets thrown to the pigs, or chickens, or whatever if you live on a farm; otherwise, it goes to the trash. If the Lord could fast for 40 days, then so can we, His disciples.
The grownups know, or should know, better than to just pig-out and stuff themselves on Paczki Tuesday. Go ahead and eat, but remember this:
It should be a day of reflection and preparation for for a period of repentance, involving hunger and turning away from the world, and turning our faces more toward the Lord, our only true salvation. In our house, we have always abstained from meat on Fridays, all year long. During Lent, meatless Fridays are a Catholic requirement. It's a minor thing; we don't even notice it during Lent because it is our habit. So we give up other things we like, and we do extra prayers. But there are fast days during Lent; Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are both abstinence and fasting days.
On Fast days we restrict ourselves to one meal. Really, all through Lent, we should all cut down on our intake, enough to at least feel a little bit hungry when we go to bed. And in the morning we should not eat our fill. Every time you feel a little pang of hunger, think of the Lord during His 40 days in the desert. It is a time of extra devotions; the Stations of the Cross are usually offered on Fridays during Lent in most Churches. However you do it, whatever your schedule allows, more time should be devoted to the Lord every single day during Lent.
Reflection, repentance and penance is enhanced by multiple trips to Confession, paying close attention to the spiritual direction of the Priest and doing penance in a true spirit of contrition and a seeking of Grace. It is a time of turning; a time of seeking; a time of preparation.
Lent culminates in Holy week; Holy Thursday, the Washing of the Feet and the Last Supper. Good Friday, The Lord's Passion, and the Way of the Cross. Holy Saturday, the Day of Silence, Watching and Waiting. And finally, Easter Sunday, the Day of the Resurrection and the Rising, our most Glorious Feast Day, and the end of Lent.
But, first things first.
Are you prepared for Paczki Tuesday, and the commencement of Lent? After you eat your favorite foods on Paczki Tuesday and the day is done, how do you plan to go through the 40 days this year?
These are either terrible days, or wonderful days, for America and for the larger world. We do not know what will come of all that has happened in the past four-plus years. But I can tell you this:
We have complained about our politicians not doing what they are supposed to do, and violating the rules of government. And, what are these rules of government, and where may they be found?
Our politicians swore (falsely, it turns out) in their oaths of office to defend the Constitution. They have all violated it. And, where did this Constitution come from, and what is its purpose for being, and why was it written?
And, where did these inalienable rights come from in the first place?
It bears repeating: God is at the absolute center of all of it. None of us are going anywhere worth going without God. If we are to end up with God, we must begin our Lenten journey with God. He is still where He always was. God has not moved.
Every problem we face - the economy, terrorism, the advance of Marxism and Islam together, the possibilities of war and even world war, - every problem we face - is related to a turning away from God.
The return to God is the return to sanity. The return to God must begin with us. Please make this the most devoted Lent you ever lived through.
It's just you and me, buddy. Let's get back to basics.
God has not moved.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Sun Feb 10 20:58:37 2013
From: Andrew Etchen
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Nicely said. This is a message of hope and a call for us to embrace the opportunity to rekindle our love for God.
Date: Mon Feb 11 05:44:38 2013
From: Claudia Cascone
Location: Sorrento, Naples, Italy
Thank you for telling me in english about Lent. In Italy it should be the same. I hope italian do it as you described. So do I every year at Lent-time and I think, it is a very important way to live the remembering of the 40 days fast of Jesus. With this practice we learn to renounce when necessary. This is vary important to avoid bad things.
Date: Mon Nov 17 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
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