Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lenten thoughts

February 26, 2009

For the first time since I can remember, I fasted yesterday. Well, fasted in the lightweight sense of people who fast. On the Archdiocese of Atlanta's website, it suggested eating only one regular meal and if needed, having 2 small snacks that didn't together equal the size of the one meal. So I did it. And by 11am, my hands were trembling and I was whoozy. But I did as Father Tim suggested at dinner Monday night. I thought about the people in the world who work a full day (full as in much more than 7.5 hrs) with this same feeling- or a much greater hunger. I had gone 5 hours without food and it was difficult. But made so much easier when I thought about really wanting to feel closer to the poorest of God's people. The poor that I see each day at work who live each day in hunger, not just Ash Wednesday. I may give fasting another try soon. Having a physical reminder, a headache or a stomach growl, to pray for those who face this each day, made Ash Wednesday a wonderful day. I felt closer to God than I have in awhile. It made me wonder if the ridiculous amounts of comfort in my daily life keep me from needing Him. Um. Duh.

This is a prayer we used in JustFaith Tuesday night. I loved it. And I love this program that while it wears me flat out sometimes, makes me so grateful that the church I choose to be a part of is really focusing on the 'least of our brothers and sisters'.

In my prayer,make me a baby girlwho when born is considered to be a burden or curse on the family-
that I may know what it is to feel unwanted.

In my prayer, make me a girl whose brothers are the only ones sent to school-
that I may understand: before our creator we are equal; still one is deprived

In my prayer,make me a young girl who is not married-
that I may know the fear of how property will hinder my choice for marriage.

In my prayer,make me a young girl married in a family exchange-
that I may experience how miserable it is to marry a person of double or triple my age.

In my prayer,make me a widow who has no source of earning
that I may understand; without any source of income, how can I bring sweets for my children?
In my fast, make me an empty bowl-that you may fill the hollow space in me with love.

In my almsgiving, make me a grain of rice-
that in the company of others, my gifts may feed a starving world.

O our Lord, give me strength-
that I can share the sadness of my fellow human beings and bring a light of hope for them.

("In My Prayer" by Attique Swati, Pakistan)

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