Day 4: Fasting

Fasting to abstain from food and drink;

attentions turn upward

as bodies endure brink.

Help us to remember

how vulnerable we are,

without help from He

waiting among the stars.

 

Fasting means much more

than mere abstinence;

it allows bodies to be filled

with His giving Passion.

As our bodies hunger

for pleasures of

bread and of wine,

allow that desire

to mimic every Sunday…

The Meal Divine.

 

For, we thirst

to be filled by this Holy meal;

allow hunger to be complete

by a memories heal.

What do we do with

the aching hole in our gut?

Allow His Grace to forever

seal emptiness shut.

 

Lift your prayers up to He,

who’s only true hunger,

lies within, YOU,

that He, Himself numbers.

 

 

Before you begin your day:

Imagine for a moment a time when you were starving. I'm not talking a bit hungry; I'm talking dizzy, pass-out, get out of my way hunger here. Perhaps you'd been so busy that day, you'd not had time to eat. Or maybe you were recovering from an illness accompanied by a ravenous appetite. Or maybe it was a day you were called to fast. There is a time when all of us can recall that relentless, aching pit from being physically hungry. Try to allow this incredible emptiness to return for the next minute or two as we reflect. 

 

What did it feel like to be hungry? Was your stomach crying loudly? Were you dizzy? Did you feel ill from not eating? Recall what you ate to fulfill this need. Was it nutritious? Junk? Thought out? Grab and Go? Did you eat slowly, while sitting? Or quickly, in order to move forward? Did you feel guilty? Or satisfied with your choice of sustenance? Write down a word or words from the poem which describe this feeling.

 

Spend a few quite minutes with The Lord here. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as we move along...

 

Are you hungry yet? What does it feel like? Is your heart crying loudly? What do you require to fulfill this need? Is it nutritious? Junk? Life Changing? Or a Lenten quick-fix? Will you listen slowly, while being led? Or quickly, to get on with it? In your hunger, do you crave His idea of satisfaction or your own guilty pleasure?

 

What does our Blessed Lord require you to fast from to satisfy this hunger? Greed? Jealousy? Gossip? Misconception? Bias? Worry? Busyness? Anger? Judgment? 


Spend a few minutes here asking for guidance. This is not always easy, most often it is not what comes to mind immediately. Remember that aching pit - go there and listen to God....

 

During your day:

...remove the yoke from among you,

the accusing finger, and malicious speech...(Isaiah 58: 9)

 

Read Isaiah 58: 6; Luke 5: 36-39; Joel 2: 12; Matthew 9: 13

 

FAST from differences...FEAST on our oneness

FAST from darkness...FEAST on the Light of Christ

FAST from words that pollute...FEAST on the words that purify

FAST from discontent...FEAST on gratitude

FAST from pessimism...FEAST on optimism

FAST from worry...FEAST on trust

FAST from complaining...FEAST on appreciation

FAST from stress...FEAST on Your plans

FAST from bitterness...FEAST on forgiveness

FAST from discouragement...FEAST on hope

FAST from idle gossip...FEAST on spreading good news

FAST from busyness...FEAST on stillness

FAST from talking...FEAST on listening

FAST from trying to be in control...FEAST on letting go

(adapted from straymondschool.org)

 

Throughout your day:

INHALE: Lord, help me to fast from ________________________.

EXHALE: May I hunger for ________________________________ instead.

(repeat as many times as needed)

 

Before you end your day:

Blessed Lord, thank you for today. Help me to hunger for Your idea of satisfaction. Guide me in knowing what I must fast from to be truly fulfilled. Be my hands when I touch; my ears when I listen; my mouth when I speak; my arms when I embrace; and my feet on this journey. Come to my aid in times of bitterness. Help me to perceive the beauty of another's view.  Transform difference into oneness, discontent into gratitude, __________________ into _______________, and darkness into Your Light. May my Fasting heart Feast on Your love. Amen.

 

Goodnight; sleep well; know you are blessed.

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