Shrove Tuesday

Today is Shrove Tuesday, the day preceding Ash Wednesday. It’s also called Pancake Day!

In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Pancakes are eaten as they are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.

So here’s my recipe:


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


Oh yes, and a prayer for the day:

Lord, give us grace to inaugurate with holy fasting the defenses of Christian warfare, so that we who are to fight against spiritual wickedness, may be helped and strengthened by self-denial.



Mugger Spared Jail after Clutching a Rosary

… and telling judge he had ‘found God.’ The Daily Mail reports:

A teenage mugger has been spared a possible seven-year-jail term after telling a crown court judge he found God in prison.

John Murray, 19, tried to mug two students of their mobile phones and wallets after a night drinking and taking drugs.

Coventry Crown Court heard Murray hit one of the students so hard in the face he was knocked off his feet.

Murray had downed two bottles of vodka and smoked £50 worth of cannabis before he and a group of friends ambushed the students outside Coventry University’s Student Union Bar.

Rhydian James, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant told the first student to give him his phone.

‘The student put his phone in his pocket but the defendant became aggressive.

‘He asked again and that scared the student who walked away.

‘The defendant then approached the second student and said ‘give me your wallet and your mobile phone.’

‘He then clenched his right fist and punched the second student in the face.

‘He punched him so hard he was knocked off his feet.’

A PCSO witnessed the attack and radioed for back-up who rushed to the scene and arrested Murray.

The court heard Murray told officers he could not remember the assault because he was drunk and high on drugs at the time.

And despite the crime having a maximum seven year sentence, Murray walked free after the judge heard how he had ‘found God’ while on remand.

Recorder Edward Hess heard Murray had visited the chaplain in Glen Parva Young Offenders Institution in Leicestershire every day since the attack in November last year.

Murray, who admitted assault with intent to rob, clutched a rosary during the 20-minute hearing last Friday.

He was given a two year community order and ordered to be electronically tagged for three months. Recorder Hess also ordered to attend a thinking skills course.

Shabeen Ahktar, defending, told the court: ‘This is something that was completely out of character.

‘Having spoken to him it is clear that this is a young man who is genuinely remorseful. He broke down in tears when he was reminded of how his victim suffered.’

Murray, from Exhall, Coventry, refused to comment outside court.

Well, I really do hope he uses he second chance well…  and is genuine in his repentance.



This Lent Fast for Peace in the Holy Land

This Wednesday, the Universal Church enters the liturgical period of Lent; the 40 days of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, that lead us towards Easter. In his message this year, Pope Benedict called believers to show fraternal concern for one another. His invitation is echoed by the Patriarch of the Holy Land Faud Twal, who asks us not to forget the families struggling to keep a Christian presence alive in the land of Our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection:

He says that in the Holy Land “the situation is still really not encouraging”. “We have these two dimensions that we are called and invited to live: The dimension of sacrifice, in reflection of Our Lord’s Sacrifice and the dimension of hope, in the hope of our Resurrection one day. In my message I write that despite all of our sacrifices we must look forward to the Resurrection”.

And he asks Christians worldwide to show fraternal closeness to their brothers and sisters in the Holy Land by fasting for peace this Lent…

Read his message Penance for the Kingdom and for Peace! here or listen here (mp3).