Once again, Lent is upon us

Once again I have been reflecting on Lent and wondering how to integrate this historic tradition into my faith practice (see my thoughts from last year here and here). In this consideration, I came across the following Lenten prayer:

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling within 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 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 trust.
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 nonviolence.
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 idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting, gift us with Your Presence, so we can be gift to others in carrying out your work. Amen.

Where I find myself overcome from some of the challenges in this prayer, I hope the time of Lent can be a period of growth towards not only recognizing these struggles, but also working towards constructively countering them in my everyday life. I realize that the transformation that this prayer suggests is far more complex than the simple utterance of ‘fasting and feasting,’ but at the same time I am encouraged when I remind myself of the source of this transformation – the person of Jesus Christ to whom this whole season points. It is this reminder that the practice of Lent offers, a reminder I believe we all could benefit from.

Blessings, then, on your Lenten endeavors!


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