NIGHT PRAYER: Tuesday 2/16

The night before Ash Wednesday, Lord...

What will I give up for Lent this year?
What will I fast from?
What will I sacrifice?
What will I go without?
I have so much, Lord, 
I have so many things,
I'm filled up so often, so easily -
there's so much I could choose to give up:
food from my table, drink from my glass,
candy from the bowl, sugar in my coffee,
desserts and snacks and munchies
- and that's just in the kitchen!
But I know you call me to a deeper fast,
you call me to give up what sours me,
what keeps me down, what holds me back,
what feeds my rage and resentments,
what stokes my passions and desires,
what excuses my bias and prejudice,
what keeps me from loving you
and my neighbor
and even myself...

You call me to fast deep in my soul, Lord:
to fast in ways that will change my ways,
will change my mind, will change my heart
will the change the way I am with you
and with my neighbor and with myself.
You call me to fast, Lord - and to feast!
You call me:
    to fast from discontent and to feast on gratitude;
    to fast from anger and to feast on patience; 
    to fast from bitterness and to feast on forgiveness;
    to fast from self-concern and to feast on compassion;
    to fast from discouragement and to feast on hope;
    to fast from laziness and to feast on commitment;
    to fast from complaining and to feast on acceptance;
    to fast from lust and to feast on respect;
    to fast from prejudice and to feast on understanding;
    to fast from resentment and to feast on reconciliation;
    to fast from lies and to feast on the truth;
    to fast from wasted time and to feast on honest work;
    to fast from grimness and to feast on joy;
    to fast from suspicion and to feast on trust;
    to fast from idle talk and to feast on prayer and silence;
    to fast from guilt and to feast on the mercy of God.*
That list makes giving up chocolate look pretty easy, Lord!
I pray for the grace let go what I don't need
   and make room for what I'm lacking;
to repent of what accuses me
   and freed for what will save me;
to lay down all things that burden me
   in return for what uplifts me...

I pray for that grace, Lord,
I pray for that grace this Lent,
in the forty days ahead of me...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...


 ("Fast From/Feast On" is attributed to William Arthur Ward)

 Take, Lord, Receive by John Foley, SJ


Take, Lord, receive, all my liberty.
My memory, understanding, my entire will!
Give me only your love and your Grace,
that's enough for me!
Your love and your grace are enough for me!
Take Lord, receive,
All I have and possess.
You have given all to me,
Now I return it.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that's enough for me!
Your love and your grace are enough for me!
Take Lord receive, all is yours now.
Dispose of it, wholly according to your will.
Give me only your love, and your grace,
that's enough for me!
Your love and your grace, are enough for me!



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