Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Food for Shrovetide Thought

Today being Shrove Tuesday ones thoughts, if they have not done so already in Septuagesima or through simple awareness of the calendar, turns to how to observe Lent. I have my usual list of things to give up, even if they are now, by reason of my age, works of supererogation, but I know I am often giving up things I rarely eat - or will do so on a Lenten Sunday. The popular mantra of “taking something up for Lent” is not without merit, and it has got me into good practices, but it can be a bit of a false guide. Does it really change one, or do we give up the new obligation come Easter?

With such thoughts in mind I was taken today with a vlog post from the US Franciscan Fr Casey Cole on Breaking the Habit.  I occasionally look at his posts and he seems to be a young man who talks sense. Maybe watching more of his reflections would be good in Lent. However as he would be the first to say, based on today’s video, that depends on what is effected in us. His latest post can be seen at Don't Give Up Anything For Lent! (And what I'm giving up) It is sensible and practical, and honest.

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