How to Feast and Fast during Lent

Forty days to go deeper.

Apparently it takes 21 days to confirm a new habit and 42 days to make it a lifestyle.

What new, or re-newing, lifestyle would best help your current walk with the Lord?

What might help you to go deeper in a relationship with him?



A few weeks without chocolate.
And maybe alcohol.
A few weeks of abstinence. 
Of giving up things we like.

Or maybe for Lent this year - just giving up.


Hurry up, Easter. And spring. And chocolate eggs.

But maybe there's another way.
A way of feasting as well as fasting.

A way of drawing near to the Lord in and through it all. 

Fast from a gloomy outlook on life
Feast on what is bright and cheerful.
Fast from always being right
Feast on seeing another's point of view.
Fast from always pointing out differences
Feast on what unites us all.
Fast from words that pollute
Feast on those that purify.
Fast from complaining
Feast on appreciation.
Fast from self-pity
Feast on goodness in others and self.
Fast from self-concern
Feast on going out to others.
Fast from overdoing
Feast on time for prayer.
Fast from worry
Feast on God's love.

(Father Kerry: Our Lady Queen of Angels
bulletin Lenten Reflection: Feb 2010.)

Come swiftly O Lord, to the dark moments when we are lost.
Make us aware of your presence.
Strengthen us to resist the urges and pulls to deeper darkness.
Stir us to move away from the dark moments of sinfulness
towards the light of your forgiveness.
Come quickly O Lord as we call – or forget to call – and
keep close to us and keep us close to you this day and night,
and as far as the days and nights stretch before us.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,


Walking between 2 walls?

I found myself between Cotswold walls today.

I’d walked a mile or two or three, enjoyed the views and the warm caress of the late summer sun.  Found a place I knew not before. Peered into old churches ringing with centuries of worship and liturgy and people. Imagined ancestors kneeling with toil worn fingers and rheumaticky knees. Imagined them listening to the chants and the anthems. Imagined them slouching on the ancient pews, kept awake by fear of the wardens’ poking poles.

Imagined their prayers and cares, their dependence on God. And heard their silence.

So I walked in the sun again, followed the lane as it wound through the trees, past the grand Manor House and the small thatched cottage.  Smelled the last of the summer red roses, ran my fingers through the rosemary. And found myself between Cotswold walls.  Higher than my head, topped with apple trees weighed down with the promise of harvest. The sun unable to compete with the height of the walls; I was shadowed.

Shadowed - and conscious of the heavy, heady silence.  Sheltered.  Away from reality.

Away from the sunshine. Away from the views I was enjoying. The walls kept pace with the path.  Or the path followed the walls.

A narrow road. A dark road. A road of silence. Beyond: sunshine. Views.  The sound of a lawnmower being tidy.

But here, for me, for now: Narrow. Dark. Silent.

And it was the parable of the past twenty four months: two years of mourning. The years of narrow and dark and silent. Cut off from the land of the living. From the warmth and the sunshine. From the laughter. From the outward view. Confined to walk this path, hearing no-one, seeing nothing, on and on.

And I knew that One had walked this Way before me. Cut off from the land of living. Confined to silence and darkness.  Narrowed. Broken even. For me. For you and for me.

I trudged on. Glimpses of sunshine broke through. Glimpses of a vista, hints of spaces. I came to the chestnut tree and saw the horizon. And my eyes were open and my ears could hear and once again I was in the world around me.

And this is how it is.  For Him, the narrow, the dark, the silence of the tomb. And then the bursting forth.

I greet the sunshine. The view.  And know that it is His Power at work in me to enable me to burst forth too. Slowly.  Carefully. But it’s happening.  He’s doing it.

May He do it for you, too.