I had the pleasure to attend Ash Wednesday Mass today at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in San Dimas, CA. Fr. Peter Dennis, who said the mass, is a beautiful and witty older Irish Sacred Heart priest that is truly refreshing. He always puts things in proper perspective, simple, yet profound. He shared the following reflection,
"Lent: A Call to Fast and Feast:"
Fast from judging others; feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on the oneness of all.
Fast from the darkness around us; feast on the light of JESUS within us.
Fast from thoughts of illness; feast on the healing power of GOD.
Fast from actions that pollute; feast on deeds that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from pessimism; feast on hope.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from guilt; feast on freedom.
Fast from complaining; feast on complementing.
Fast from stress; feast on self-care.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from selfishness; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from apathy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from idle gossiping, feast on spreading the good news.
Fast from being so busy; feast on peaceful silence.
Fast from being in control; feast on letting go.
As I look at this list, it enhances the meaning of fasting, it transforms it and brings it to a heighten and even more challenging level. It gives me hope that I can change my sinfulness, my old habits and "feast" on new ones. I appreciated this joyful, hopeful and optimistic view of Lent and I hope that you do too. Let us remember, Lent is not a time to be gloomy, but reflective with a joyful attitude and symbol to others.
I wish you a very blessed and hopeful Lenten season.
"Lent: A Call to Fast and Feast." Ash Wednesday Mass. Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, San Dimas, CA. March, 09, 2011.