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Tis the Season … the Lenten Season
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By Nancy McSloy

"The season of Lent calls Christians to remember the mystery of our redemption in Christ and to more fully participate in his life-giving spirit."
The Society of St. Andrews

Flapjacks, hotcakes, crepes, latkes, whatever one calls them, pancakes are a staple in North America.

During medieval times, European families used up perishable goods that were forbidden during Lent. Items such as eggs and lard were added to flour and "voila" the pancake was created. As for me, pancakes are one of my least favorite foods, much to the chagrin of my family. I grew up on a farm with a sugar bush. During maple syrup season, pancakes were served with almost every meal as an excuse to have fresh maple syrup.

Once a year however, on Shrove Tuesday I have my yearly fill. I enjoy church Pancake Suppers. I love Easter and the Lenten Season. To me Pancake Tuesday is the introduction to a very special season and one of the most wonderful Christian celebrations, Easter. The fellowship involved sitting at tables full of people, seeing volunteers donate their time to turn out hundreds of pancakes in a short time, as well as watching the meaning of the season unfold throughout the evening are all a part of my journey into the Lenten season.

I used to try to give something up for Lent. Sometimes it was watching TV, other times it was giving up dessert! A couple of years ago I decided that it was time to make some changes. Rather than unsuccessfully giving something up, I would try to take the time to seek the pleasure of God's presence.

During Lent I take time out of my busy schedule every day to have that quiet reflection time. I read passages from scripture, reflecting and turning "worry" into prayer. Sometimes I spend time with others, perhaps doing a kind deed for someone in need. I am not a winter person, but on a sunny day I walk outside breathing in the beauty that God has created and as it gets closer to Easter watch for the crocus's to peak out through the snow.

This shouldn’t be limited to the Lenten Season, but I know that I put forth a better effort during Lent. By Easter I am rejuvenated and ready for the new beginning that to me comes with Easter!

Nancy McSloy is a freelance writer in London. Having discovered her faith after spending several years abstaining from most things God-related, Nancy looks at that time as being her "extended lent".