A special thank you to Jek from In Search of... for this beautiful post.
Lent, a time to start over, a call to transformation. A turning away from the old self to the true self, the self God intended for us to be. Sometimes this can seem overwhelming, especially when we reflect on our sinfulness. However, even though the season of Lent calls for us to examine our sinfulness, the Lord also calls us to renewal. Let us then not dwell on our sinfulness, but learn from it and move forward this Lent, with a new spirit, as an example to others of the Lord's joy, promise and salvation. Let us not only fast, but feast on the Lord's goodness and the goodness he calls us to!
I had the pleasure to attend Ash Wednesday Mass today at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in San Dimas, CA. Fr. Peter Dennis, who said the mass, is a beautiful and witty older Irish Sacred Heart priest that is truly refreshing. He always puts things in proper perspective, simple, yet profound. He shared the following reflection,
"Lent: A Call to Fast and Feast:"
Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the oneness of all.
Fast from the darkness around us; feast on the light of JESUS within us.
Fast from thoughts or illness; feast on the healing power of GOD.
Fast from actions that pollute; feast on deeds that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from pessimism; feast on hope.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from guilt; feast on freedom.
Fast from complaining; feast on complementing.
Fast from stress; feast on self-care.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from selfishness; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from apathy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from idle gossiping, feast on spreading the good news.
Fast from being so busy; feast on peaceful silence.
Fast from being in control; feast on letting go.
As I look at this list, it enhances the meaning of fasting, it transforms it and brings it to a heighten and even more challenging level. It gives me hope that I can change my sinfulness, my hold habits and "feast" on new ones. I appreciated this joyful, hopeful and optimistic view of Lent and I hope that you do too. Let us remember, Lent is not a time to be gloomy, but reflective with a joyful attitude and symbol to others.
I wish you a very blessed and hopeful Lenten season.
"Lent: A Call to Fast and Feast." Ash Wednesday Mass. Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, San Dimas, CA. March, 09, 2011.