Fr Bob Writes – March 30, 2014

 To Keep a True Lent

Is this a Fast, to keep

The larder lean ?

And clean

From fat of veals and sheep?

 

Is it to quit the dish

Of flesh, yet still

To fill

The platter high with fish?

 

Is it to fast an hour,

Or ragg’d to go,

Or show

A down-cast look and sour?

 

No” ’tis a Fast to dole

Thy sheaf of wheat

And meat

Unto the hungry soul.

 

It is to fast from strife

And old debate,

And hate;

To circumcise thy life.

 

To show a heart grief-rent;

To starve thy sin,

Not bin;

And that’s to keep thy Lent.

(Robert Herrick)

 

Fr Bob Writes – March 23, 2014

Enjoy this Lenten excerpt from the January-February 2014 Scarboro Missions:

Fasting and Feasting

Lent can be more than a time of fasting.  It can also be a season of feasting.  A time to…

–          Fast from judging others;  feast on Christ living in them.

–          Fast from emphasis on differences;  feast on the unity of all life.

–          Fast from apparent darkness;  feast on the reality of light.

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

–          Fast from discontent;  feast on gratitude.

–          Fast from anger;  feast on patience.

–          Fast from pessimism; feast on joy.

–          Fast from worry;  feast on trust.

–          Fast from guilt;  feast on freedom.

–          Fast from complaining;  feast on appreciation.

–          Fast from complaining;  feast on appreciation.

–          Fast from negativity;  feast on affirmation.

–          Fast from stress;  feast on self-care.

–          Fast from anxiety and fear;  feast on faith.

–          Fast from hostility;  feast on peace.

–          Fast from bitterness;  feast on forgiveness.

–          Fast from self-concern;  feast on compassion for others.

–          Fast from discouragement;  feast on hope.

–          Fast from apathy;  feast on enthusiasm.

–          Fast from suspicions;  feast on truth.

–          Fast from idle gossip;  feast on spreading good news.

–          Fast from words that wound;  feast on words that heal.

–          Fast from talking;  feast on listening.

–          Fast from thoughts that weaken;  feast on promises that inspire.

–          Fast from problems that overwhelm us;  feast on prayer.

–          Fast from everything that separates us from God; feast on everything that draws us to God.

Adapted from a prayer by William Arthur Ward, 1921-1994.  Taken from the January-February 2014 Scarboro Missions

Fr Bob Writes – Marach 16, 2014

Below are some reflections from different writers on the meaning of Lent.

“In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use.  For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days.  After being baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus.  During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves” (Frederick Beuchner )

“With the return of that season marked out in a special way by the mystery of our redemption, and of the days that lead up to the paschal feast, we are summoned more urgently to prepare ourselves by a purification of spirit. The special note of the paschal feast is this: the whole church rejoices in the forgiveness of sins. It rejoices in the forgiveness of not only those who are then reborn in holy baptism but also of those who are already numbered among God’s adopted children…

Dear friends, what the Christian should be doing at all times should now be done with greater care and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin”

(Pope St Gregory the Great)