Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Bet Giving Up Chocolate For Lent Makes God Laugh

I believe that every soul is called to be a saint in this life, but this is no easy task. Personally, I have a LONG way to go in this journey. For me, Wednesday marks the beginning of collective reflection: LENT. This is a time of spiritual renewal in the weeks that lead up to Easter. In addition to giving up ALL things chocolate, which I think is a very lame sacrifice in comparison to Christ’s Passion, I try to reflect everyday on the following list that I got from a website a few years ago. These words are not my own, but I really do not know who to credit.

“Lent is a time for fasting, but also a season for joyous feasting! During Lent, the Church calls us to fast on certain things, and feast on others.

For example:
Fast from judging others…feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences…feast on the unity of life.

Fast from apparent darkness…feast on the reality of light.
Fast from thoughts of illness… feast on God’s healing power.
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 nonresistance.
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 up lift.
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 sunlight of serenity.
Fast from idle gossip…feast on purposeful silence.”

God is tangible, and God has done great things for me. Having spiritual direction in my life is a source of joy for me. I feel compelled to give back as best as I can. I try to give my time to different types of volunteerism, and youth ministry also fulfills this need that I have. Giving is not always easy, and I sometimes do it grumbling.

Making sacrifices to show gratitude to God, and to deepen your faith is like when you use Listerine and your tongue burns, but you know that means the stuff is working. That may be a dumb simile, but that’s how it feels when you stretch yourself spiritually, trying to change for the better. Then you look back and see the benefits; that’s where the joy comes in.

Tomorrow I’m going to drag my kids to church and get ashes. I’m going to try again to die to negative thinking and destructive habits, and rise up to a new day on Easter, a little bit closer to sainthood.

3 comments:

Putz said...

i want to feast on hard boiled colored easter eggs, and i guess i will have to admit to neededing to feast on prayer and optimism and silence and forgiveness and appreciation and truth and enthusiasm, and serenity and and and

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I guess that means I can't bring chocolate to our next reading club meeting. I wouldn't want to be a stumbling block!

Koala Bear Writer said...

Hmmm, good thoughts. I'm giving up sweets - I've become too much of a snacker. Now I'm trying to use those urges to eat cookies to remind me to pray instead...

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.

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