by Vicky Otto, Director of Precious Blood Companions

When I was a child, I always dreaded Ash Wednesday because I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what to give up for Lent.  Like most of my friends, I usually stuck with the “I’ll give up chocolate” only to gorge on Easter chocolate with a vague remembrance of why I did it in the first place.  I have a different perspective regarding Lent now. A priest friend told me once that Lent means “Springtime.”  We celebrate the new birth of Christ through his resurrection and death to the things in us that are not Christ like.  So what do we need to let die this Lent?

Many years ago, I received a short article called “Keeping a Holy Lent” written by William Arthur Ward.  Ward challenged me then and challenges me every time I read this regarding what I need to “give up” during the Lenten season.  As we prepare to enter the great season of Lent consider:
  • Fasting from judging others, feasting on Christ dwelling in them.
  • Fasting from the emphasis on differences, feasting on our oneness with others.
  • Fasting from the darkness around us, feasting on the Light of Christ.
  • Fasting from thoughts of illness, feasting on the healing power of God.
  • Fasting from words that pollute, feasting on words that purify.
  • Fasting from discontent, feasting on gratitude.
  • Fasting from pessimism, feasting on optimism.
  • Fasting from withholding anger, feasting on sharing feelings in love.
  • Fasting from worry and living in the future, and feasting on trust.
  • Fasting from guilt, feasting on freedom and forgiveness.
  • Fasting from complaining, feasting on appreciation.
  • Fasting from stress, feasting on self-care and peace.
  • Fasting from hostility, feasting on letting go.
  • Fasting from bitterness, feasting on acceptance.
  • Fasting from selfishness, feasting on compassion.
  • Fasting from discouragement, feasting on hope.
  • Fasting from apathy, feasting on enthusiasm.
  • Fasting from suspicion, feasting on seeing the good and beautiful.
  • Fasting from idle gossip, feasting on spreading good news.
  • Fasting from problems that overwhelm, feasting on God’s strength.
  • Fasting from talking, feasting on listening.
  • Fasting from trying to be in control, feasting on letting go.
Let us pray that through our Lenten journey we may be created anew. Happy feasting and fasting during Lent!

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