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Deacon's Corner - February 25, 2024

When I think of fasting during Lent, I think of giving up or not doing something I really like.  The opposite of fasting is “feasting”.  Fasting can take on a whole new perspective during Lent if we focus on feasting instead.  Feasting during Lent doesn’t mean indulging in some great food or type of activity.  Feasting during Lent is taking something seemingly negative, like fasting, and turning it into a positive, like feasting.  Here’s a Lenten Prayer I came across last week written by an inspirational writer, Arthur Ward, that says it much better than I do:

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling 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 words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.

Fast from worry; feast on trust.

Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.

Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.

Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.

Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.

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

Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.

Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.

Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.

Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

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

Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting, gift us with your presence so we can be a gift to others in carrying out your work.  Amen.

May we pray for the grace this week to feast as we fast so we can be free of the things holding us back from getting closer to God, and enjoy a life of hope, gratitude, joy, and positive thinking.

Deacon John

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