Finding Your True Inner Grump....
So how is Lent going for you all so far? So far, I've been slacking quite a bit... I really could work on doing some more penance in just the little day to day things---eat something I don't like so much, be more respectful towards others, and get up on time! Well, now that Lent's half way over, we should examine ourselves and see what we can do better on. Lent is about GIVING ourselves over to Christ by GIVING UP those things which draw us away from Him!
One of the best ways to do penance is to, yes, (sorry excuse the four letter "F" word) FAST!!! I'm not just talking that wimpy minimum the Church requires of you on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I mean how is it FASTING when you still eat two or three (*smaller*) meals??? Yes, I know the Church REQUIRES relatively little of us, and that is fine and very good. Some people are not able, due to health reasons, fast very much if any, and that is okay if you really are not able. Another good thing is that because the Church doesn't require that much, this gives us an easy opportunity to do something EXTRA to prove our Love for God!
This Lent I've had some new reflections on fasting. Have you ever noticed something when you fast? I'm not talking about feeling hungry, I'm talking about your attitude. Ever get a little edgy or grumpy when you give up a few meals? Isn't it funny that when our blood sugar gets a little low we start to see our *true* selves come out? Never knew you could get so grumpy so quickly did you? This is why fasting is so beneficial. If we start to try our best to overcome sin and temptation when we are suffering we will be so much stronger when we are in normal conditions and better able to last in future fasting periods.
"And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (Matthew 6:16-18)
"Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." (1 Timothy 4:7b-8)
"Beloved, I beseech you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul." (1 Peter 2:11)
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to prove you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." (1 Peter 3:12)
"Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you." (1 Peter 5:8-10)