"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Some Good Advice on Fasting

Today I am grateful for the simplicity of taking a moment at a time. I am also grateful for my husband Darcy and our marriage.

I am taking a break from my A-Z gratitude list to write about something on many peoples' minds today: fasting. The Christian season of Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday. Many religions have fasting as part of their belief system, such as Muslims and the month of Ramadan.

Growing up Catholic myself, Lent was about fasting and giving up something. I have continued to do a Lenten sacrifice some years, but also attempt to add something positive, not just take away something. So when my friend Dorothy sent the words below in an email, I really appreciated what I read:

Fasting in Lent

The kind of fast drawing me this season isn’t leaving behind of treats like chocolate or other pleasures.  This season I am being invited to fast from things like “ego-grasping” and noticing when I so desperately want to be in control, and then yielding myself to a greater wisdom than my own.

I am called to fast from being strong and always trying to hold it all together, and instead embrace the profound grace that comes through my vulnerability and tenderness, to allow a great softening this season. 

I am called to fast from anxiety and the endless torrent of thoughts which rise up in my mind to paralyze me with fear of the future, and enter into the radical trust in the abundance at the heart of things, rather than scarcity. 

I am called to fast from speed and rushing through my life, causing me to miss the grace shimmering right here in this holy pause.

I am called to fast from multitasking and the destructive energy of inattentiveness to any one thing, so that I get many things done, but none of them well, and none of them nourishing to me. Instead my practice will become a beholding of each thing, each person, each moment.

I am called to fast from endless list-making and too many deadlines, and enter into the quiet and listen for what is ripening and unfolding, what is ready to be born.

I am called to fast from certainty and trust in the great mystery of things.
And then perhaps, I will arrive at Easter and realize those things from which I have fasted I no longer need to take back on again. I will experience a different kind of rising.

-Christine Valters Paintner

When I read something I really like, I am always curious about the author. Read more about Christine Valters Paintner here.

Such a thought-provoking piece. I will be reading it regularly in the coming weeks, to help me internalize some of the thoughts and turn them into actions.

Less "ego-grasping" and more profound grace. Less scarcity, more abundance. Less destruction, more nourishment. 


2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Certainly worth pondering for 40 days or so. There is plenty there to ponder. :-)

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