Monday, March 02, 2009


In case you didn’t know, the whole purpose of Mardi Gras is to have one big blow out before Lent. Many non- Catholic people in New Orleans observe a form of Lent. It’s sort of a do-over for the New Year’s resolutions you didn’t keep. I decided to do a mini-Lent between now and the Irish Channel Parade March 14th. No booze (whimper), South Beach Diet Phase 1 and lots more exercise. I think I can keep that up 2 weeks. And putting up here will give me motivation, I hope.

Similar to my idea is something my friend emailed me “Flexi-Lent”
Flexi-Lent is a modern twist on the traditional Catholic practice of giving up vices (like booze) and living healthy between Mardi Gras and Good Friday (which is the Friday before Easter Sunday). Some Catholics believe it is acceptable to drink on Sundays during lent. Irish Catholics naturally add St. Patrick’s Day to that list. Thus, it appears fine to drink seven times during Lent. You get seven exemptions, in other words.

Here’s the modern twist: Instead of being confined to those specific seven days, we have decided to make the exemptions flexible. In other words, you have seven exemptions (or 12-hour drinking periods) during Lent, which you can use any time you want. One can engage in multiple vices during one exemption period. (Note: There is no solid theological support for that rule.) Exemptions can be used whenever you want. They can perhaps even be bought and sold on the free market (but I’ll leave that to the theologians).

Also, there is typically a fitness component. I try to run 100 miles during lent, but my foot is hurt so I’m not doing that. (I’m working on some new goal

Finally, be smart with your exemptions. Save them. Don’t burn them quickly. And remember St. Patrick’s Day is one of the seven exemptions.

Flexi-Lent ends on Good Friday, at which point all Flexi-Lentarians will have a party, which will be known as Flexivus.

And remember: Flexi-Lent is Exci-Lent!

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