Lord, you made me to be a human being:
I have flesh and bone, heart and soul, spirit and matter
and this side of death I cannot separate one from the other...
I live in a consumer's culture of comfort:
food and drink, nourishment and clean water
are seldom far beyond my arm's reach
and I so easily take for granted
what others hunger, thirst and die for...
I have only to look upon your Cross
to remember that my faith calls me, body and soul,
to unite myself with you, in your body and soul,
and to know in my own person
the burden you carried for me and for us all...
What did I pledge, on Ash Wednesday,
to give up, to go without,
to sacrifice, to deny myself?
Have I been faithful to that pledge?
Faithful enough to experience
how the denial of some food or drink or comfort
might be felt, might be known
in my belly, my body, my hunger, my thirst?
Have I been faithful to my Ash Wednesday promise
at those times when fidelity would have the most impact?
Most of all, Lord, in some way,
help me know in the whole of my person
what it means to follow you,
to hunger and thirst for you
and for what you offer me
in these holy days...
Help me experience my faith in my body, Lord,
as you knew your love for me in yours. ..
Help me abstain from anything not worthy
of your truth, of my faith,
of my being created in your image and likeness...
Help me abstain from anything that leads me away from you,
from anything that keeps me from you,
from anything that does not bring me closer
to you and your love...
Help me abstain from all that distracts me
from prayer, from time with you, from the stillness
in which I come to know that indeed, Lord,
you are my God and you are close by my side...
If you haven't yet given up something for Lent
(some food, drink or comfort) it's not too late!
Half of Lent is still ahead of us - begin today!
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