Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24 – “I’m Fasting Offenses!”

Perhaps you’ve never heard anyone say of offenses, “I gave them up for Lent!” Well then, we can be the first, here in Cor Unum.

It may be true that NOTHING we could sacrifice would be more effectual, more powerful, more delightful to the Lord than that we should fast offenses! That we would not at all enjoy their succulent delights for the next forty days, and then . . . for the next forty years and beyond.

Fast chocolates, fast desserts, fast one meal a day, fast whatever might be upon your heart . . . but when we fast offenses (and thus criticism and judgment,) we have taken up Isaiah’s fast, in chapter 58.

“Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?(vss. 5 & 6)

. . . and verse 9 . . . "Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity" . . .

We don’t think of ourselves as judgmental, until we begin to fast our judgments and offenses! Then it isn’t easy for us to imagine forty days without judgment or criticism or offense at all. It is, however, worth the endeavor, a noble fast indeed, and one which we hope to start, carry out, and never forsake, here in Cor Unum, the monastery of the heart.

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