by Kay Stoltz
Lent; a time of reflection and fasting. Particularly fasting. We ask what is in the way of our spiritual growth? What are our guilty pleasures? As we contemplate a fast, we see two views, two sides to every coin, a yin and a yang, a black and a white. For every sin, an opposite virtue.
I propose another approach, a positive one inspired by a writing from Ann Fontaine.
Substitute feasting for fasting.
Fast from judgment, Feast on compassion. Judging’s easy, and almost virtuous. Sloppy work, unkempt appearance, surly attitude? Where are their standards? However, if I walked in their shoes? How differently would I look at them?
Feast: I share God’s love and help where I can.
Fast from greed, Feast on sharing
Fast from scarcity, Feast on abundance: I wish I had, why don’t I have . . . poor me. Feast on my blessings, and God’s abundant love, don’t look over the fence.
Fast from fear, Feast on peace
Fast from lies, Feast on truth
Fast from gossip, Feast on encouragement
Fast from evil, Feast on kindness
Fast from anxiety, Feast on patience: We are anxious about St. Catherine’s future, and we worry. Be patient and trust in God.
Fast from apathy, Feast on engagement: Don’t get involved, sit on the sidelines? No, feast on working to make our world better. This world, this church, St. Catherine’s needs every one of us.
Fast from discontent, Feast on gratitude: Our lives didn’t work out as we wished? Feast and give thanks every day for what God has given us, including this day.
Fast from discouragement, Feast on hope
Fast from pride, Feast on humility: I didn’t really want to talk about this one. Humility is not one of my strong suits. This I must feast.
Fast from criticism, Feast on praise: Fast from seeing mistakes. Feast and find the honest effort, the job well done, and heap the praise.
Fast from hatred, Feast on love: Hatred comes in many forms; intolerance, anger, hostility, ridicule, cheating. Feast on God’s Love. Does it shine from us? Do people feel it?
What will be your fast? What will be your feast?