Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Positive Take: Ideas for Lenten Fasting

I found these suggestions on the Eternal Word Television Network website, under Lenten Devotions.  While my mind tends to observe and question, and then reflect, I do note that it is best to not be critical of others.

Yet, in my observations, the good Lord tends to put it right back to having me ask myself in what ways I do likewise, or have, or He instills in me a desire to avoid some aspects that I observe, or to apply in my own body, mind, heart and spirit the good that I observe.

One aspect that made me rather sad was observing many persons who I'd not viewed in over a decade, had gained a lot of weight.  This made me wonder if the persons' lives were somehow out of balance, or if there was too much inactivity and contemplative time as opposed to active works, including manual labor.

So I am rejoicing that the Lord has me in a place requiring much physical labor which is excellent exercise; and, also, my complaining has given way to gratitude.  My physical pain is best distracted by forcing the body up and into some work, prayer while working, or when I did not have work to do, to pray while walking or gardening (which I do not consider to be work!).  I now try to consider that the manual labor in renovation is not work, either--just another form of prayerful activity, of creative and artistic worth, and will produce lovely fruit for whoever lives here next.

But I cannot continue at this time with viewing or engaging in mournfulness or that which evokes somber voice or sorrowful posture.  When I read that the word lent in ages past was the word for spring, and another aspect relates to the lengthening of days in springtime, I consider this to be indicative of the joy of the His salvation--of His securing the freedom for us from the ravages of our sins.  Yes, we must recognize our sinful natures and repent, but then relish and rejoice in the joy of His salvation.

I note that these Lenten ideas posted on the EWTN website, for fasting and abstinence, are quite positive.  They remind me of the repeat of the Psalm this morning:  Lord, show us the joy of Your salvation.


Fast from judging others;
Feast on Christ dwelling in them.

Fast from apparent darkness;
Feast on the reality of light.

Fast from pessimism;
Feast on optimism.

Fast from thoughts of illness;
Feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute;
Feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from anger;
Feast on patience.

Fast from worry;
Feast on Divine Providence.

Fast from unrelenting pressure;
Feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from negatives;
Feast on positives.

Fast from complaining;
Feast on appreciation.

Fast from hostility;
Feast on non-resistance.

Fast from bitterness;
Feast on forgiveness.

Fast from anxiety;
Feast on hope.

Fast from yourself;
Feast on a silent heart.

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