This began as a series of weekly columns on this blog about fasting from certain attitudes and striving to become more virtuous. Several of those columns made their way into my book Cultivating God’s Garden through Lent (also available from Barnes & Noble, and Patheos Press).
The list of those fourteen “Fasting From” reflections became popular, and many friends said they had printed them out and hung them in work spaces.
So, here again is the excerpt from my book:
One year during a late winter retreat a small handout was distributed and the idea of “giving up,” or fasting, took on a whole new purpose. Here is what it said:
Fast from bitterness; turn to forgiveness
Fast from hatred; return good for evil
Fast from negativism; be positive
Fast from complaining; be grateful
Fast from pessimism; be an optimist
Fast from harsh judgments; think kindly thoughts
Fast from worry; trust in Divine Providence
Fast from discouragement; be full of hope
Fast from anger; be more patient
Fast from pettiness; be more mature
Fast from gloom; enjoy the beauty around you
Fast from jealousy; pray for trust
Fast from gossiping; control your thoughts
Fast from sin; turn to virtue
Maybe we should consider hanging this list on the fridge for more than the forty days of Lent.
We are taught to be charitable in how we respond towards others. We also need to be charitable with ourselves as we become a more virtuous person. Let us begin our journey this Lent with our hearts open, accepting the challenges to become who we are truly called to be as Christians. A virtuous life isn’t for the faint of heart.
May God always be praised!
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