Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Lent is popularly thought of, if it is thought of at all, as a matter of "self-denial". Which in turn means "being hard on yourself". A better understanding, I think, is that it is a period when we have the opportunity to go straight to the heart of things rather than getting caught up in the house of twisted desires, to develop good habits in place of destructive ones, to seek nourishment in something more substantial than, er, fast food.

"Inherent in a fast is a feast. When we fast from divisive patterns of relating with others, we feast on the amazing awareness that each face we see is the face of Christ. When we fast from building social, economic, and political walls, we feast on our universal oneness with the One... When we fast from food, we feast on prayer and God’s bountiful love." -- Marilyn Brown Oden, Wilderness Wanderings

"Most of us have to taste our need in a fierce sort of way before our hungers jar us into turning our lives over to God.... In the Divine arms we become less demanding and more like the One who holds us. Then we experience new hungers. We hunger and thirst for justice, for goodness and holiness. We hunger for what is right... Most of us are not nearly hungry enough for the things that really matter. That’s why it is so good for us to feel a gnawing in our guts." -- Macrina Wiederkehr

1 comment:

Karin said...

I like your general idea of what Lent is about; I tend to see it that way, too. The problem I have with Lent is that it's the wrong time of year for me to have the energy to 'develop good habits in place of destructive ones'. I think May and June would be a good time for Lent or perhaps I just need to keep trying all year in the hope that some of those bad habits will be transformed into better ones eventually.

It's strange really, that the times the church encourages us to reassess our lives are during the dark and gloomy periods of the year, early and late Winter/early Spring. I wonder if this is because our peasant and ag lab ancestors were too worn out with sowing and tilling and harvesting the rest of the year.