The holy Season of Easter and Beyond
The last holy days of Lent in preparation for the Holy Triduum and the glorious Easter season.
The third of the three great Lenten, and indeed Christian, “works” listed in Matthew Chapter 6 from the Sermon on the Mount is fasting.
And the Lord said: I will give you a new heart, and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts, and giving you hearts of love. I will put my spirit within you, and make you live by my ways, careful to observe my decrees. (Ezekiel 36: 26-27)
Isaiah 58 verses 6 and 7 tell us that a fast that the Lord prefers must be a time to show God’s love to others, so as we finish these last holy days of Lent in preparation for the Holy Triduum and the glorious Easter season, permit me to share with you both below and attached this “fasting/feasting” list given me by my wonderful Spiritual Director Friar Sam Vaccarella, TOR, which is also available at the website for the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (http://www.nacc.org/resources/prayer/lent.asp):
This holy season and beyond, let us think about our call to:
• Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling in them
• Fast from emphasis on our differences; feast on our oneness
• Fast from the darkness around us; feast on the light of Christ
• Fast on thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of God
• Fast on words that pollute; feast on words that purify
• Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude
• Fast from withholding anger; feast on sharing our feelings
• Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism
• Fast from worry; feast on trust
• Fast from guilt; feast on freedom
• Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation
• Fast from stress; feast on self-care
• Fast from hostility; feast on letting go
• Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness
• Fast from selfishness; feast on compassion for others
• Fast from discouragement; feast on seeing the good
• Fast from apathy; feast on enthusiasm
• Fast from suspicion; feast on seeing the good
• Fast from idle gossip; feast on spreading good news
• Fast from being so busy; feast on quiet silence
• Fast from problems that overwhelm us; feast on prayerful trust
• Fast from talking; feast on listening
• Fast from trying to be in control; feast on letting go.
• Loving God, let us Fast from anything that leads us away from you and teach us to Feast on all that brings us closer to you. Amen.
(Friar Sam encouraged me to add my own fasting and feasting, as I encourage you. Here is one that I added just for encouragement that has been important for me:
• Fast from trying to figure things out; feast on accepting the Lord’s will)
Much Peace and Love in these last Lenten days before the glory of the Triduum. Tom