A Lenten Meditation

by Paul L. Grace-Neal

I think Tuesday was the most gluttonous day of the year. Some call it Fat Tuesday,  Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday.  Many went to churches and feasted on waffles, sausage, bacon, eggs with LOTS of syrup or molasses.  It is a heavenly feast before the fast. 

For many Christians, Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, we received ashes on our foreheads signifying the beginning of the Lenten season.  Lent is a reminder of our mortality.  We were formed from dust and we will return to the dust of the earth after our physical bodies die.  In our humanity, we all have limitations.  There are things we cannot do unless God empowers us.

During the Lenten season we transition from feasting to fasting.  Many give up things in a process of self denial.  Some give up frivolously like desserts.  We can live without sweets. An excess is not beneficial to us anyway.  We fast for a calendar period of 47 days and pick up where we left off 48 days later.

I don’t view this process as temporary.  At the end we should be permanently changed. This process is an inmate moment with the Highest Spirit.  Whether tangible or intangible, our sacrifice should shape us to do and be greater. 

My church decide not to fast in the traditional sense.  We are fasting from selfishness as we perform daily acts of random kindness daily.  When others think they can’t, we empower them to believe they can.  Send an inspirational text or call someone to wish them a good morning and encourage them during a low time.  Whatever you do, do it selflessly from the heart.

This year is a year that some breed intolerance towards every “minority” faction of society.  No one is safe.  Our Transgender children have to hold their bladders to later be diagnosed with urinary tract infections.  Our Transgender women acquire “Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder” as their sisters are gruesomely murdered for living authentically.  Muslim immigrants are yanked from airports, hospitals, and home for seeking grater. They are treated as second class citizens in the Home of the Free.

In light of this intolerance, I vow to advocate for the rights of all in hopes that others will give up their hatred and intolerance and honestly believe that “all men and women were created equally”. After all, you were created to be Spiritual being and will live on in the hearts of loved ones and at the seat of the Divine. 

Fast from toxic people, places, and things, and acts for 40 days.  At the end of the 40 days tack on 40 more and let it go.  You will be a better person for it.  Happy Lent!

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