Friday, March 11, 2011

Wash me first

The last few weeks have been the Season of Septuagesima, which is the three Sundays leading up to Ash Wednesday.  This is used in the Traditional Latin Mass.  We haven't been going steady to the Latin Mass for even a year yet, so we are still learning all the differences that exist between the L.M. and the Norvus Ordo.  These three Sundays are used to prepare for the Lenten season.  A good idea, I think.  For me, the season of Lent was a lot more cut and dried; one gave up something for forty days, and then began again after.  The whole event was forgotten about after Easter.  That was before God called...
Now, things have changed, and for me, Lent has become much more serious, as well it should be.  It seems like my life for the last five years has been one type of fast or another, or a time of penance for a decision that must be made. Ash Wednesday is nearly here and I'm no closer to my Lenten observance than I was three weeks ago.....
  Well, Ash Wednesday has come and gone, and God, in His mercy, has shown us a path, a way to begin our journey through Lent.  Lately it always seems to do with food and H and I are brought even closer together by sharing in this Lenten discipline, as we do all things.  Coffee one year, (a rough one, that), desserts another, (not so bad, but bad enough), but in hindsight these abstinence's were only small things, stuff even.  H and I have been looking into the Third Order Franciscans, which is very different from our Secular Franciscans.  A bit more stricter.  More devoted to the Latin Mass.  This way of living, Franciscan-wise, seems to fit our spirituality and gives us a deeper sense of peace and purpose than the Rule of the modern day Seculars.  But we are only exploring these options.  We are praying about it.  But we have adopted some of the fasts and abstinence rules that they use for our Lenten fast.  These include no breakfast, Monday thru Saturday.  No meat Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and of course, Friday, but milk and dairy is allowed.  On top of our Fasting on bread and water on Wed. and Fri. it makes for an interesting week.  I'd never known how much food is such a intrusive part of my life.  I can tend toward gluttony at times if I don't watch out.  How heavy-feeling I can become when I eat three decent meals a day.  With the discipline of Lent that has all changed.  With no breakfast I go from 5:30 in the evening until 12:30 the next day, which is lunch without eating.  A long time for me to go with only a couple of cups of coffee in between.  But something does happen during that long stretch, especially in the morning.  Is it me;  no, I am nothing, I know that.  I feel it is the Holy Spirit, moving in where the tendencies toward my over-indulging were.  We are called to God for a reason and He gives us the means to get there, we just have to make use of those ways.  Fasting is one way.  Instead of being unknowingly dependent of our food, we become more dependent on God.  It's like our bodies, no our souls know that,  and in turn we search and yearn for Him.  The turning inward, the turning inward with love.  The Ancient Fathers in the Old Testament knew the power of fasting.  Fasting and Prayer.  
  The clong of the heavy wind chime fills the silence of night.  I think of what I just wrote, and how it really doesn't tell the whole story, not even close.  How can I explain the quietness that fills me up even in the middle of a crazy workday?  How even now, in the semi-silence of the night, how His presence is here, closer than ever.  How to explain the unexplainable?  How to listen and respond, how to write about that.  I cannot.  And so begins the journey through the desert, following Our Lord Jesus.  A good way to live one's life, in the desert, with Our Lord.

Oh Lord Jesus, 
you but command and I come.
I will help carry your cross
but wash me first,
cleanse me in the 
discipline of Lent
then lead me down the path
less known. 


carmelitemom said...

Thank you for soul thoughts...there is a yearning definitely felt when one is not indulging. Bless you for your undertaking of such a strict fast. I would be good to reflect on Lent before it begins as in *Divine Intimacy* which I follow. This is also followed in the Eastern Rites as well. Let us pray for one another as we enter the *desert*.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kam - what a great and inspiring post and fasting is such a critical offering, especially in intercession for our brothers and sisters.

Thank-you for your words help strengthen myself and I am sure many others to be faithful this Holy Lent.

fr. Joseph

Daily Grace said...

The desire to leave behind us all that keeps us from God gets stronger and stronger. This desire is a hungry, a thirst in itself, a yearning to constantly be in the Divine Presence.

The fruitfulness of your journey, your single mindedness with every step toward him shines forth for us all. It is a beautiful witness.

The prayer at the end says it all.

Thank you.