It’s Saturday, the fourth day of Lent and so far I have kept to my promise of writing 500 words each day. Now I am not saying they have been 500 quality words, but they have been words. Maybe today since I have more time I will be able to do better.
Why do we fast during Lent? Why do we abstain from certain things or do some kind of penance for forty days? These are some questions I have asked myself this week. I realized I never really knew exactly why we do these things. After all, as I may or may not have mentioned in the past, my “Catechism Classes” are just a very faint memory. That in itself tells you something since I am usually the one who remembers the most trivial things about my life. All I remember Is I didn’t like it and I didn’t want to be there. Now some fifty plus years later I wish I had listened and learned but then maybe that was all part of God’s plan for me.
It seems that fasting is a way for us to prepare for the death and resurrection of the Lord. Lent is a season to pray, fast, contemplate and do spiritual good. This is when, of all times of the year, we should be performing acts of charity and helping others. What better time than Lent to get into the habit of performing the seven spiritual works of mercy and the seven corporal works of mercy. Talk about doing spiritual good.
The significance of the forty days, although as I just learned is subject to some serious debate, is that before Jesus began his ministry he was dropped into the desert for forty days and nights without food and water and subjected to temptation from Satan. (Read Matthew Chapter 4) This is the explanation I tend to believe. I look at it this way, if Jesus could do it I can give up some of the comforts of my life and spend an hour each day writing a 500-word blog post.
What I find interesting in my own life is that as far as the praying, contemplating and even fasting goes I already do these things. They have become a habit. Could I spend more time? Absolutely. I know that since I began these doing these things regularly my life has turned around. As I wrote yesterday, once you learn how to shut out the noise and listen to what Jesus is telling you, you will see things differently and your life will change.
When I brought God back into my life, I began He began to watch over me even more than he did before. And I also believe that He began to reward me for my work if that is the right word since it really isn’t work. He has helped me to see so many things. To see things through different eyes, His eyes, not the eyes of the evil one. Again I’ll say take a look around you and you will see the influence of Satan everywhere. You need to differentiate what is God’s will and what isn’t. You need to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, and God is the final judge. He is the one you should be listening to.
Stop, Look and Listen