Program in Christian Counseling Training: Christian Counseling ideals for Preparation for Lent
During Christian Counseling sessions, one should direct the faithful to a more suitable Fat Tuesday celebration. The decadent over indulgence found in the Fat Tuesday celebration or Mardi Gra is in its roots a secular and pagan ideal. While secular and atheistic society views it only as a “beads for deeds” celebration where one overwhelms there senses in a gluttonous feast of vice, one can find even greater alarm in Christian perspectives that see it as a night to “let go” before the great fast and cater to every lustful or concupscient thought or desire before the start of the Great Fast. “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow is Lent” seems to be the overtone and prevailing spiritual atmosphere.
With such a dangerous philosophy especially among Christians, one can see the dangers of Fat Tuesday. If one is preparing oneself for a spiritual renewal, one is not to purchase a license to sin the day before, or to take another analogy, if one is to be married the following day to one woman, one is not to engage with as many women sexually as possible. This is not preparation or true reform for a holy event.
In preparation of the Great Fast, Christians should prepare themselves spiritually for the fast via prayer to God for the necessary graces to improve themselves spiritually during Lent. Fat Tuesday defeats this purpose. Maybe such celebrations stem from man’s subconscious or the Church’s inability to completely de-secularize society regarding vice, but it is clear such celebrations when taken out of context are counter-productive to the whole purpose of the Great Fast.
This is not to say I condemn festivities before Lent, but I would say I condemn the mindset and the extremes some take on this day. Christian Counseling needs to emphasize this during sessions that approach Lent. If you are interested in Christian Counseling certification, please review the program in Christian Counseling Training.
Mark Moran, MA