Friday, March 11, 2011

Podcasting Lent: Fasting makes the hungry visible

The Denver archdiocese is trying to make Lenten discipline visible with black wristbands that read "sacrificium." My Lenten fast was invisible to my neighbor, but made many things visible to me. Fasting makes the hungry visible.


  1. Such an apt observation.

    I have made some significant food changes for Lent, as both an asceticism of subtraction -- depriving myself of what I enjoy and want want want -- and a practice of adding on: to my health.

    No one knows about this (until this moment), but I have noticed that it does make me aware of invisible hungers: concretely, of my own hunger for distraction, for filling empty spaces, for minor satisfactions to deal with, ironically, both boredom and stress, and, in an interior sense, of the many hungers of the world of which I am so seldom aware.

    This morning for instance, I am very hungry, having not eaten since an early dinner last night and having not yet made it down to the kitchen today, and so I am aware of my tendency to respond immediately to any sort of deprivation with food. But I also thought, as soon as my stomach growled, that there are 1000s of people in Japan much hungrier than I am, and for everything, not just for food.

    Such a small practice could take one a long way, if she were willing to let it unfold completely.

  2. I have never really got the power of fasting till this Lent. Your experience reinforces my own somewhat blurry but growing understanding. It is helping me to distinguish the difference between wants and needs on one hand and how much of my day whirls by without being conscious of God or others at all.

    I am becoming aware of how wrapped up in myself I am.

    And yes like Robin I suspect (with some alarm and trepidation) that this practice will take me a long way if I continue to let it unfold, in its own time and way.

  3. I gave up meat for Lent, and am trying to be aware of my mindless snacking habit.

    Today was Sunday, so off the Lenten clock, and I had meat for dinner.

    I think any practice like this has the potential to transform us, should we allow it -- that's the truly hard part.

    What do I do differently, now that I see differently?

  4. I've increased my walking ... 10,000 steps a day ... for Lent. Making myself walk the walk. And walk the talk.

    I keep imagining Jesus and all the walking.

    Sometimes I get so lazy. I just "can't" get up and walk again, can I?

    And then I see Him, walking. From town to town. Up and down mountains. On water.

    Seriously, Cindy - you "can't"?