Lent: Fast from indifference, feast on love.

 

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An article written last February with Pope Francis thoughts on Lent has stirred my heart.

…If we’re going to fast from anything this Lent, Francis suggests that even more than candy or alcohol, we fast from indifference towards others.

‘Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.…whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades….We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own….

‘But when we fast from this indifference, we can began to feast on love’

He continues ‘What are you giving up for Lent?’ It’s a question a lot of people will get these next few days. If you want to change your body, perhaps alcohol and candy is the way to go. But if you want to change your heart, a harder fast is needed. This narrow road is gritty, but it isn’t sterile. It will make room in ourselves to experience a love that can make us whole and set us free.’

Now that’s something worth fasting for.

As I (Michelle) walk the road to Easter – I’m committed to fasting from indifference.

More stopping for the one, less rush,

more engaging with stories, less scrolling past,

more hearing hearts, less agenda,

more awareness, less head in the sand.

More of YOU, less of me Lord.

Join me on the journey of fasting from indifference?

Love, Michelle

I’m reading Bread and Wine as my devotional during the next 40 days. A selection of readings by C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Philip Yancey, Madeline L’Engle, Henri Nouwen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and more.

Also head over and join my friend Melissa who is sharing thoughts on the journey here

 

 

 

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The Thaw.

 

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The vomit comet hit the Collins home this week. I will spare you the descriptive detail, needless to say – those Canadian bugs take you down.

From my sickbed, I wrote and pondered and listened and moaned some.

Windows were flung wide open (actually they slide across with some difficulty) as the temperatures rose to 5 degrees.

I cleansed my inbox – that’s another blog.

I listened to the constant drip of water outside my window as snow caved in, water freed from ice.

And… I read this poem by Malcolm Guite – I just love his work.  He is writing a series of poems inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.

I wish I could say I’d written this, I kind of have just not so beautifully.

 

Begin the song exactly where you are

For where you are contains where you have been

And holds the vision of your final sphere

 

And do not fear the memory of sin;

There is a light that heals, and, where it falls,

Transfigures and redeems the darkest stain

 

Into translucent colour. Loose the veils

And draw the curtains back, unbar the doors,

Of that dread threshold where your spirit fails,

 

The hopeless gate that holds in all the  fears

That haunt your shadowed city, fling it wide

And open to the light that finds and fares

 

Through the dark pathways  where you run and  hide,

through all the alleys of your riddled heart,

As pierced and open as His wounded side.

 

Open the map to Him and make a start,

And down the dizzy spirals, through the dark

His light will go before you, let Him chart

 

And name and heal. Expose the hidden ache

To him, the stinging fires and smoke that blind

Your judgement, carry you away, the mirk

 

And muted gloom in which you cannot find

The love that you once thought worth dying for.

Call Him to all you cannot call to mind

 

He comes to harrow Hell and now to your

Well guarded fortress let His love descend.

The icy ego at your frozen core

 

Can hear His call at last. Will you respond?

 

I find the one problem with thawing is that it gets a little muddy – for a while anyway…

Spring IS on its way.

Lent begins today, and of course Lent means Spring. The spring fast.

We all know it’s more than a punishing of oneself by not eating chocolate don’t we? I gave up chocolate when I moved to Canada. The Canadian waxy offerings just don’t work for me. Of course, when we have visitors from the UK, particularly those visiting in a few weeks – it all changes – right Searchlight?

So, are you giving something up? Laying something down?

Here’s a link to receive daily lent challenges in your inbox – adding something transformational to the traditional.

I’m reading Bread and Wine as my devotional during the next 40 days. A selection of readings by C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Philip Yancey, Madeline L’Engle, Henri Nouwen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and more.

Have a great day, Spring is on its way (you see I am poetic…)

Love, Michelle xo