Fast Pray Give: Day #1

Last night Phil Fox Rose inspired me and invited the 20s and 30s group at St Joe’s to take more seriously the tenets of Lent, namely: Fasting, Praying and Giving or Almsgiving.

So I thought I would take his words to heart. One line in particular struck me. Phil answered a question from Dawn, one of our PhD candidates in Geology at the University. She asked: “Is it OK if I just do one of the tenets really well and the other two a bit less?”

Phil’s response struck me: “I’d say we should try to whatever we can do thoughtfully as opposed to all three superficially.”

And so I thought that I’d try to keep up with the BustedHalo Fast, Pray, Give Calendar for Lent this year and to try to do each of these things as mindfully as I can.

I’ve embedded the calendar to the right so you can play along at home.

And so here is my first attempt:

I was asked to FAST from my biggest worldly vice today. I took this under the “Catholic” ideal of fasting which is to only have one full serving per day, but instead of food, I substituted WORK and began to fast from that. I’m clearly a workaholic at times and often my wife has to compete with my ministry. So I shut the computer off after a morning of answering some necessary emails and this is the first time I reopened it today. Today happened to be a day off for me—so that was a good day to try this and make it a true day off. My thoughts were still occupied with work thoughts but I also was able to put a nice Valentine’s Day gift for my wife together and send some early birthday cards and take the dog on a longer walk. I did a bit of exercise and watched a relaxing show on Netflix and read a bit for pleasure.

I was also asked to PRAY for humility and so I need to realize the the world will not fall apart if I just take a breath and not work so hard. If it were totally up to me, that would be unfortunate because there’s no way I could do it all. So I’d be trying to do the impossible.

And lastly I had to GIVE others the benefit of the doubt today. This morning I read a local news story and immediately jumped to certain conclusions about some involved who I’m familiar with. I caught myself early and was able to offer not judgement, but assistance to those involved. I was then able to pray that collaboration can continue for all those involved. It was really freeing to not jump to the horrible thoughts immediately and I’m hoping more fruit can be borne from this.

I’m off now to a Valentine’s Day dinner and a play at the Irish Theatre here in Buffalo with my bride. She’s great and I know sometimes I don’t give her the benefit of the doubt either, pre-judging her before giving her a chance to contribute to the conversation.

So day 1 is nearly done. How about you? What might you be doing for Lent?

I’ll be posting on this each day, probably towards the end of the day, along with of course news on the Pope and much more. Hope you can join in the fun—fun you say? Indeed! Lent needs not be an awful experience. We may very well need to fast or to pray or to give something away in order to be truly free.

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