Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday


"We give up something for Lent to align ourselves with the heart, will, and experience of Jesus. Fasting teaches us that we are not utterly subject to our bodily desires."

Lent snuck up on me this year.  It wasn't until a friend mentioned it last week that I realized it was so close.  At first I thought I would just continue my practice from past years.  But, when I was honest with myself, I knew that I needed to do more for Lent this year.

I decided that I wanted to give something up in addition to taking on the practice of reading each day.  So I've decided to fast from sweets.  Abstaining from sugar sounds so cliche, but I know it will be a hard thing for me.

As I was deciding whether or not to fast this year, I found this article by Lauren Winner.  Her words in the quotes above and below were the kick-in-the-pants that I needed.  Of course I won't enjoy giving up sweets, but that's sort of the point.
"We fast during Lent because fasting gets our attention. It is a necessary tool for rousing us from our day-to-day sleepwalking.  
We fast during Lent because when we willingly give up something we delight in but do not, strictly speaking, need, we come closer to participating in, understanding, and reverencing the self-emptying act that is Christ on the Cross."
Tonight we'll be attending an Ash Wednesday service at our church, which, I think, will help me mentally prepare for this 40-day fast from sweets.  But right now, I'm printing out these words by Lauren Winner and posting them in the kitchen so when I'm tempted to grab a cookie or a coke, I'll remember why I'm doing this.

Are you giving something up, or perhaps adding a practice, for Lent this year?






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