Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22 – Fasted Lifestyles

Devotion is a wonderful thing.

In a world that manages to yank us from one calamity to another, living lives that are often more full of the stuff of other men’s lives than our own, it is powerfully good to be able to choose a fasted life style.

What’s a fasted lifestyle? There are many words we could substitute. We could call our lives devoted, disciplined, monastic, or we could just say we’re in love! People will say we’re in love, when we begin to “fast” busy-ness, hurry, worry, agitation, ingratitude, and grumbling for the sake of the love we have for our Lord.

THAT’S WHY THEY DO IT . . . the true monastics! They have learned the joys of devotion! The little disciplines of life that most say they ought to do and hope to get around to doing, are built into the monastic year. One might be permitted a Lenten fast of, let’s say, “light reading” in the monastery (everything is done by permission, and that is one of the greatest disciplines of all, as every monastic will tell you,) but everyone fasts. Certain food items in the already bare-bones diet disappear overnight, such as butter and cream. When all you have for breakfast each day is coffee and a piece of bread, the removal of the butter is a real “penance.”

When speech is curtailed to only one or two hours a day, one is loathe to spend those minutes in gossip or slander, and it will never be permitted, anyway. This is what every wise Abbess must know: backbiting will devour the house.

Monastics sort of “love” to fast, because after the first time or two, the results are so euphoric that the next will be welcome for its results. No one wants to grumble when everyone is doing without. Let it be so with us here today in Cor Unum . . . as we embark on this Lenten fast, let us choose what will draw us into our own lives with the Lord, and let us curtail the speech that wounds and the hurry that destroys, and above all, let us love with this little fast, and enjoy it fully! Let us be sure we are not just fasting from, but fasting to better enjoy our wonderful, undivided lives in Christ Jesus, King of kings, and Lord of all.

by permission

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