Do you want to fast this Lent?

Lent is upon us again. This came across my Facebook page a day or two ago. it fits with the kind of thing I have been saying at church for the last few years. The readings today - Ash Wednesday (Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-20) remind us to be watchful of our motivations in engaging in our Lenten practices. Are we doing this for ourselves? Do we think that by fasting, praying, giving alms, reading scripture, giving up chocolate, we might earn enough points to get into heaven? Or do we do this so that we might more clearly know The God who invites us in love to be all we were created to be, not for our own benefit, but so that we might know what is ours to do in the ongoing mission of God - to renew humanity and restore creation.

In the words of Pope Francis

· Fast from hurting words and say kind words
· Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude
· Fast from anger and be filled with patience
· Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope
· Fast from worries and have trust in God
· Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity
· Fast from pressures and be prayerful
· Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy
· Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
· Fast from grudges and be reconciled
- Fast from words and be silent so you can listen