I found this blog, who had linked to us, and I thought it might be nice to share a little of this Catholic-themed writing with the rest of you.
Giving Up Sweets for Lent
Mar 21st, 2007 by Diane
Watching The Colbert Report tonight, I found myself wondering whether other people have noticed the ongoing subtext of Lent and the Americone Dream. And in fact I discovered a nice compendium of accounts of Stephen’s Catholic identity here. And this. I’ve just loved the way he’s so typically understated but determined about it. Periodically over the past few weeks he’s reminded his audience that he has yet to taste his ice cream, counting down the days of Lent. Tonight’s showdown with Willie Nelson ended with a mediated taste test of Willie’s Peach Cobbler ice cream and Stephen’s flavor. Stephen reminded Richard Holbrook that he’d given up sweets for Lent. We saw Willie tasting the ice cream, but at the end of the day, Stephen held out. The spoon sat in the pint of ice cream with no indication that he’d tasted it. But no comment, either. Wonderfully ambiguous. Let those who have eyes to see….
As commentary, let me offer this: The opening line of the show was “Hey camels, stop showing off and drink something.” There’s such a fine line between endurance and showing off, between setting an example and being self-righteous, between witnessing to one’s faith (and traditions) and beating people over the head. And this small example from the world of comedy and satire shows a really classy way of doing that. People who aren’t Catholic may miss the references or take them as a jab at traditional Lenten practices. He couches it as a a schoolboy statement, naively pious: “I promised Jesus I’d give up sweets for Lent.” But then he leaves it there, he doesn’t go over the top with it. “Moving on….” Fasting, abstinence and other Lenten practices are one of those tricky areas. Ideally they’re a way to grow spiritually. They can become ends in themselves, or they can be a mark of Catholic identity. So much depends on the context. And in this particular case, it’s the Catholic identity that wins out.