Fast and Feast

Wednesday, I was appreciative and prayed like I said I would. When I found that I was appreciative I Just said a small thank you to God and I was proud of all the feasting that I had done. However, I found that even though I was appreciative I was still complaining. One of the things we, as Christians, are asked to do during Lent is make a sacrifice that will help us focus on resisting worldly distractions. Although complaining is not what you would normally think of as a worldly distraction such as TV or the computer, it still distracts me from God. During the first two days I realized that I had to balance my appreciation and complaining.
I could not focus wholly on one or else I would forget about the other. On both Thursday and Friday of that week I tried my best to concentrate on both my feasting and fasting and learned by the end how to keep from complaining but also appreciate everything I am given and all the opportunities I have. One of these spoken opportunities was the chance to go on the Mid-night Run. It was very fitting that this was the last day of my five-day fasting/ feasting project because I feel like I was most appreciative during this day. All the people on the Mid-night Run went into NY City and handed out clothes and food to the homeless.
At first I tried to be impartial to the whole matter because I did not want to cry in the middle of a city street. However, as the people started coming more and more I found myself feeling so sorry for them. I said a quick prayer in my head for them and that wherever they would sleep would be warm since it was so cold outside. What really affected me was when a small woman came over and asked If we had any underwear. This In particular blew my mind; I then realized how bad they must have It If a woman has to beg for underwear. Even though the five-day fasting/ feasting project is over I still try not to complain.

When I do, I think of how fortunate I am in comparison to all those people out there who wish for half the life I have. Dying to ourselves, letting go of our own wants and needs, leaves us open to invite God in, to pay attention to something other than ourselves. This experience has made me more aware of all the joy that I deprived myself of. When I stopped myself from complaining, I realized how much better I felt. I felt as if I had made the whole situation better for myself and I did. When I stopped complaining, I subsequently stopped petty arguments and cruel or annoyed moods.
Once I stopped I found yeses in a better mood altogether and I think It also rubbed off on the people around me. Overall, letting go of my own wants and needs, gave everyone an Improved attitude and allowed for more room to let God In. By not complaining I have a whole part of my life that essentially cut of. This part has now been filled with my appreciation and God. By separating myself from complaining I can turn to God and appreciative and happy I bring on that sense of fulfillment to other people. For Catholics, “dying to ourselves, we enter some way or another into Chrism’s dying and we rise to new life with Him as well. ” (TM p. 9) The new life I have been brought is one of acceptance and appreciation. As I moved through the week, I found that as I complained less, I became more and more relax as well. The complaining, when I was unable to stop myself, bothered me more than I think it bothered my parents. I found that I started to enjoy myself more as I accepted events around me. I knew I could not change that fact that it was cold outside so I accepted it for what it was and appreciated that I had clothes to keep me warm. By living this new life that was one of acceptance and appreciation I feel as if I have also opened up a new relationship tit God.
I am closer to my ultimate vocation, union with God, after having been brought this new life through my fasting/feasting project. The overall purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter and prepare to celebrate new life with the Resurrection. It is also a period of intense preparation for catchments to enter the church. During this preparation, Christians focus on living the Kingdom of God more intensely than they do during the rest of the year. This fasting is not only a literal fast from eating, but also a chance to make a sacrifice that will help us Ochs on resisting worldly distractions.
This is self-discipline and also an opportunity to make more room for God and to move closer to him. When we fast together as a community, it is the whole church community opening themselves up to God together. My experience over the last five days has helped me live out the purpose of Lent by exposing me to the deeper meaning of the fast. Instead of Just giving up candy or chips, I have given up a part of my life that has only brought me down, and opened myself up to happiness, fulfillment, acceptance, appreciation, and a closer relationship with God.

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