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Fasting for change of heart...

Is not this the fast that I choose:

   to loose the bonds of injustice,

   to undo the thongs of the yoke,

to let the oppressed go free,

   and to break every yoke? Isaiah 58. 6 - 10

We folk who observe Lent have tended to be like the people Jesus warned about..."do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting." And by that I mean no milk in our coffee, no wine, no meat, no facebook or whatever we can do without that will be a sacrifice. However as far back as Isaiah, we have been taught that a true fast is one that changes the heart.

As the prophet Isaiah says in one of the readings for today, fast from whatever prevents freedom to us and to the world around us. Break the yokes of bitterness, judgment and fear. Free those we hold in bondage with criticism, arrogance and anger. These are the sacrifices that Jesus went into the desert to teach us...because in so doing we come closer and closer to him on our journey and as C. S. Lewis said, we will be surprised by the joy of being in full relationship with the Prince of Peace. Then our hearts will be changed. In this change of heart we will find repentance; we will go beyond the mind we have which is the real meaning of metanoia.

You have given all to me.

To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours. Do with it what you will.

Give me only your love and your grace.

That is enough for me.


(the closing prayer from Pray as you Go during Lent.)


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