07 February 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 10 comments


I have been struggling the last few weeks as to what I should "give up" for the 40 days of Lent. I've already given up something huge! I don't eat chocolate. I did think maybe blogging, but my family convinced me that would not last 2 hours. So I started to wonder if I should even put anymore thought into Lent. Then the other day I came across these words from The Reverend Colleen O'Connor, St. Mark's, LeRoy New York published in "The Anglican Digest"...

...Lent serves as a reality check, when we remind ourselves that after years of spending time and money beautifying, primping, deodorizing, dressing up - and vesting - our bodies, they will be reduced to dust.

The purpose of fasting, and indeed of Lent, is not to make us depressed, but to remind us of our humanity in all its inadequacy and imperfections as the first step towards spiritual growth and development. Indeed, the word "Lent" is an Anglo-Saxon word for "spring" and comes from the same root as "lengthen." It is in the spring that the days lengthen and flowers and trees begin to blossom. So it seems especially propitious that Lent be a time when we employ forms of spiritual discipline to help us grow closer to God. Lent can be a time when the person God has created us to be can begin to take root and blossom.

Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline but I would like to suggest that as a Lenten discipline, we engage in a spiritual fasting, as outlined in the following anonymous meditation.

Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from negatives; feast on alternatives.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from worry; feast on faith.

After reading this several times, I came up with the "sacrifice" of myself. All of the above "fastings" are all things I could seriously work on and need in my life. So the next forty days I will fast and not necessarily sacrifice anything precious to me, I'll only gain the feasts that I reward myself.

Oh and wow! Gung Hay Fat Choy!! What a cool thing that Ash Wednesday was yesterday and here we are celebrating the beginning of a new year and the start of spring today!!


Wonderful way to look at it.

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Keep smilin!

Happy New Year to you to! Good luck with Lent, it's not easy giving up something you love.

I have struggled this Lent also. I have made a sacrifice to do more for others and be less of a sofa diva. I am taking care of my sister for 12 days and that is definately different for me. I prefer to be the taken care of. But I think that in addition to this I am going to celebrate the life I have and look at it as sacrificing my selfish tendancy. I hope I can make it a permanent change. Last year I did Diet Coke and nearly killed my family. They are much more excited for the coming season. I'm glad you will be on this journey with me, in spirit.

thank you for this awesome post.



Great post! I think these 40 days will be good ones for you and me.


YES, this is it... and in my fasting, I remind myself that if I fast from a meal (which I do everyday), I don't just not eat to not eat, you know? I put away whatever money I would have spent on that meal and pass it to someone in greater need. And I too had high hopes of fasting from the computer - mainly in an attempt to open a window into taking time to actually nurture my relationship with God, whether in reading scripture, taking walks, prayer, etc. Since banning it all together would be impossible, I'm setting time limits... and what time I would spend here frivolously I'm trying to use more productively. Volunteer work, even that... which sadly I've never done.

Great post, you. What an example you are to me, to us...to many.

Good for you!! That is awesome and it sounds like the perfect thing to give up! Good for you!!

Chrisyt :)

Man, for a second I thought you weren't going to eat for 40 days..you scared me!