Lenten Fasting: A Meditation

Holy Wisdom Monastery Lenten Reflections, Uncategorized 1 Comment

By Pamela Johnson, Oblate and Sunday Assembly member

I grew up in a religiously observant, ritual practicing Lutheran household where each Lent (and Advent) my parents and siblings gathered around our dining room table for family devotions.  We lit candles, read scripture, and prayed around the table together – but we did not practice fasting during Lent or any other time of the year. And so I come uninitiated to fasting as a spiritual practice. I am entering into fasting this Lent.  And because I was invited to do so, I share what I am noticing.

I am noticing that these two words—fast and pray—are together.

“. . . and Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray.”
I am noticing that fasting brings focus. 
I am noticing that praying in my own desert helps me see a truth: everything aches.
Everything aches with beauty.  Everything aches with sorrow.
Fast . . . and pray for truthfulness.

“. . . and Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray.”
I am noticing that fasting is slowing me down to the speed of meaning.
Where is the meaning?  Who is the meaning?  What is the meaning in my life?
Fast . . . and pray for discernment. 

“. . . and Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray.”
I am noticing that fasting is a way of being fully human.
I am finding a capacity that we all have to refrain, to abstain, to hold still, to be silent.
This capacity seems to be rooted in a deep knowing of enough
Fast . . . and pray for humility.

“. . . and Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray.”
I am noticing that the purpose of fasting is not to suffer—but to awaken to emptying.
Jesus emptied his “self” to reveal the manifestation of God that he is. 
Jesus emptied his self to reveal the expression of God that all people and all creation are.
Jesus reveals the distinction between things as they appear to be and as they truly are.
Fast . . . and pray for transfigured sight.

“. . . and Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray.” 

Comments 1

  1. Excellent Lenten meditation. I am receiving Lenten meditations from several sources this Lent and this is certainly one of the very best–by best I mean most meaningful and helpful to me. Just denying oneself something, however minimal, helps one notice al the things you mention. Thank you.

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