4 February 2009

Fast Becoming The Fashion

Fasting, it seems to me, just is not the same as it was when I was growing up.

As a child, I loved the sense of giving something up for Lent. To be honest, it was not so much the thought of uniting myself with others less fortunate, as much as it was with developing a self centred pride in overcoming my own weakness. It's a vicious circle since this very act becomes, in itself, a weakness.

Friends have described me as being "utterly determined" when I want to be. Some might even say stubborn. Who, me? For this reason, giving something up for Lent is relatively simple, for me, when I want it to be. There's the rub - when I want it to be.

Pope Benedict's words on fasting at the Papal audience yesterday are fantastic. Take a minute or two to read them. As I prepare to take on the mantle of Priesthood, then I would do well to listen to His Holiness and realise that fasting, indeed, "helps believers to prepare to do the will of God." It is not about me, but others: developing in me a "welcoming and attentive attitude towards [my] brothers and sisters."

So, with three weeks to go, what am I going to give up for Lent?
Suggestions on a postcard.

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