"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Reflections on Lent

Lent is a time for prayer, reflection and fasting. It is a time for me to focus on Jesus and what He did for us. An opportunity for us to get closer to Jesus or for those who have been away, to get back to Him.
Dee and I started Lent by attending 9AM Mass at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church. We received ashes and listen to Msgr. Robert Morris, VG gave a homily on the observance of Lent.
He ended the homily with a beautiful and inspiring poem on Lent. I don't know where he obtained the poem, but I found it at "Humble Piety."
Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them
Fast from emphasis of differences; feast on the unity of all life
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of the 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 God’s providence
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation
Fast from negativity; feast on the positive side of things
Fast from unrelenting pressure; feast on unceasing prayer
Fast from hostility; feast on non-resistance
Fast from revenge; feast on forgiveness
Fast from self concern; feast on compassion 
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope
Fast from facts that depress; feast on verities that uplift
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth
This poem reached out to me and and opened my heart. It made me think about fasting different than anything I have ever thought about before. If I can work on these words I can open my heart to others. Family, friends, co-workers and strangers would be able to see my faith in action. Actions more than not eating chocolate for forty days, or not eating meat on Fridays or some other fasting action that is physically visible. 
However, this is not an easy list to follow. Following Jesus is not always easy. Then I realized that this is something than can and and should go beyond the forty days. It should become my "SOP" (Standard Operating Procedure), in my spiritual journey.  
In addition to the Lenten poem I was reminded this morning that we are all on a Lenten journey. My Brother-in-Christ, the "Flawed Disciple" posted his article on traveling through Lent. Please take time to read his musing.    

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