This Lenten season started with the flu and it really had me floored! I had no appetite for 3 or 4 days and missed the Ash Wednesday service due to fever. It would also be inconsiderate to show up infected with a nasty bug only to pass it on to the others in the parish. Once I was back on my feet I recommitted to the plan of abstaining from meat Wednesdays and Fridays throughout Lent, setting specific time aside for prayer and limiting my claroic intake so I remain a little hungry throughout ‘The Great Fast.’ The flu seemed to help me a little, I wanted to kick my coffee addiction but felt I wouldn’t be able to, the flu made the idea of drinking coffee out of the question. I went from having 6 cups of coffee before 11am everyday to having zero cups and the plan is to avoid coffee until after March 29th.
What I have Learned So Far
Greedy Glutton: As a Calvinist this was not a shocker but fasting has reinforced the biblical principle of total corruption and original sin. I really have no righteousness of my own before God without Christ and this point has really driven home. The first Wednesday after my illness I returned to normal eating, avoiding meat and trying to eat just vegetables, yogurt and lentils, things of that nature. Due to the fact that I was avoiding meat I found myself more willing to overeat! When I caught myself loading my plate with more food than I really needed it became abundantly clear I was telling myself, ‘hey buddy you deserve it! look how well you’ve been doing with everything thus far, eat as much as you want. You’ve earned it.’ The thought and intentions of my heart kind of scared me when they were discovered. Without fasting I probably wouldn’t have been struck so compellingly. I am truly sinful and devious. It was a really powerful moment.
More Prayer: Another thing I have learned so far during this Lenten season is just how well one can pray when we are a little hungry and use a regular prayer rule or set time for prayer. Sure, I still pray throughout the day asking for forgiveness, but the depth of prayer has increased by focusing on disciplining the body and mind. With a focus on Christ prayer deepens. Using scripture and prayer books I have come to desire my lunch hour prayer time like never before. I have been attending Holy Trinity Anglican Church for the Book of Common Prayer 1962 Eucharistic service and have left church feeling spiritually full and overflowing. God is praised, Jesus is lifted up and the people of God are fed. I encourage you to read through the service before condemning it. The litanies and canticles are all scriptural and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
That’s all for now folks. May God through our Lord Jesus Christ bless you as you live and worship.