Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lent

To be honest, I've never participated in Lent. I've wanted to but each year bleak February/March is more than enough struggle for me. In other words - I need all the chocolate I can get to survive until spring.

I also think we should be mindful in all seasons. The poem below is popular in Lent but worth reading and practicing all year.

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ indwelling them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on divine order.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal Truth.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from shadows of sorrow; feast on the sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.

- William Arthur Ward
(American author, teacher and pastor, 1921-1994.)

3 comments:

FrSean said...

Ok so Lent isn't just about giving things up. It's also about taking things on. Chocolate or caffeine are fine disciplines, I suppose, but they best serve as a reminder to pray when you want them. I think there's something to be said for taking on the discipline of attending an additional service, praying the offices daily, or some such. You're creative! I am certain you can find an Ann thing for Lent. ;)

amywb said...

I am hanging this up - and leaving it up beyond Lent. Thank you.

Jen said...

FrSean says the same thing that Father Dave tells me that each year at Lent. FrSean is also right that the creative side of you will find some small or big way to participate in Lent. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet, but it will probably be attending additional services. I like the quote, I may have to print that out as well. Have a wonderful Lent Ann!