Monday, February 20, 2012

Ash on my forehead

May I humbly refuse you, dear satan, for I have found something way better, sweeter and permanent than the pleasure of sin. May I humbly refuse your demands, cravings and what sounds like your rights dear body, for what you really need is food that gives eternal life.

The Lord surely is debugging certain serious anomalies inside of me. I wouldn't have realized so grave a  "weakness" with in, if I had not denied my body, the generous supplies. It growls, shouts, rolls on the ground, for a fill. I grow in phony compassion towards what looks like it's genuine plea to sustain.

Hey! It is Jesus who gives you life to the fullness. "Do not work for food that goes bad, but work for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of man will give you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal." [John 6:27]

Fasting is a process of truly becoming aware of my body, mind and soul but most essentially body. It's about identifying it's "limitations" and "potential". The limitation of the body is it's hunger. Hunger for food, good food and tastier food. Hunger for pleasure, for love, independence,  hunger to justify and prove. Life's challenge as Christian is to go beyond the limitations of the body.

The true potential of the body is it's ability to offer itself as a gift to the other, overcoming it's own limitations. We become the hand, feet, eyes, heart of Jesus for He has none but ours.

Working to overcome the limitations of the body becomes a herculean task if we give it attention more than it deserves. We must instead fix our eyes on Jesus - who satisfies, who fulfills all our hunger beyond measure. This does demand faith, grounded not on logic and reason but on fervent expectation and firm dependence on the provision of God.

He then said, 'Son of man, eat what you see; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.'I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and then said, 'Son of man, feed on this scroll which I am giving you and eat your fill.' So I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey. [Eze 3:1-3]

Anchoring firmly in faith, we re-inform our mind and direct the hunger of the body for food to real food that gives life ie Jesus [more tangibly, the Word of God and Eucharist], hunger for pleasure to true pleasure of abiding in Christ, hunger for love and recognition [from fellow humans] to its real hunger to satisfy itself with the inexhaustible love of Jesus [Who alone satisfies]

We empty ourselves, and traverse beyond the confines of our body's [and mind], truly living out its "endowments" to nourish, build one another. Mother church portions out the season of Lent to us in order that we are encouraged to redirect our ways  to what truly matters.

I repent for I have sinned against you Jesus. The ash on my forehead is the external expression of my internal remorse. I will tirelessly endevour to sin no more and hate every instance of it. Lord, unsettle me, make me restless, fill me with a burden and compassion to become a gift to others, for i'm far too selfish still.