Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Keeping a Holy Lent - 6


Image: MonterreyGourmet

To fill the platter high with fish?

To Keep A True Lent

Is this a fast, to keep
The larder leane?
And cleane
From fat of veales and sheep?

Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
To fill
The platter high with fish?

Is it to faste an houre,
Or ragg'd to go,
Or show
A downcast look, and sowre?

No: 'tis a fast, to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
And meat
Unto the hungry soule.

It is to fast from strife,
From old debate,
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.

To shew a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin;
And that's to keep thy Lent.

Robert Herrick - 17th century
Herrick's English may be a bit dated but that doesn't keep us from understanding the point he's making. And that point bears repeating and deserves understanding.

How is fasting functioning in our lives this Lent?

You might want to refer back to my post: Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101 - paying special attention to the words of Thomas Merton. I'm thinking, too, of the fasting of Jesus in the desert in this past Sunday's gospel. In my homily on that text I drew attention to fasting that heightens our senses and deepens our awareness of what's around us.

Just how is fasting functioning in our lives this Lent?



lent2010

1 comment:

Novo said...

What a fitting poem to remind us of the purpose of fasting. It seems that we should not "give up" something that will benefit us. So, I ask myself, if I am trying to lose weight, does giving up desserts benefit me or accomplish what is essential? I don't think so.