The queen of pancakes

Today is Shrove Tuesday, when we put out the call to be “shriven” of our sins during Lent. Of course, it also goes by other names: Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and Pancake Tuesday. The latter name had particular significance here at St. Luke’s, as during the evening we had two sittings of a community pancake supper.

One of the blessings I have discovered as a priest is that people, in general, really *want* to love their priests. Some are stand-offish, of course, but even that is usually a sign of their desire to love their priests — they just don’t want to have that love rebuffed or rejected. Honestly, as long as you aren’t a complete jerk, people often go out of their way to help you or make you welcome. Just a very simple example: at the pancake supper I asked if the syrup being offered was corn syrup or maple syrup. The person asked “Which do you prefer?” and I responded “Maple”, and the next thing I knew she was going into the back to hunt around for a can of the alternative syrup. I protested, saying there was no need to go to any trouble, but she would not hear of it: “For you, Father, it’s no problem.” Honestly, I sometimes have trouble accepting this generosity, as I really don’t want to be a burden to people, and because I also sense a potential spiritual danger: the danger of getting used to the kindness, such that a sense of entitlement arises and I lose a sense of gratitude. May God preserve us priests from this!

One cute part of the supper was the crowning of a King and Queen for each of the two sittings. The kids put their names in a basket, and two were picked to wear the crowns for that sitting. One little girl was so delighted to be the Queen that she was speechless. It was very cute.