The Contemplative Companion

The Contemplative Companion for Friday, March 3, 2017

Fasting opens us. We see our self more clearly.

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.” – Matthew 9.14 – 15

Fasting opens us. We see our self more clearly. The self’s wants and habits of being satisfied by food, and other such creature comforts.

Lent, among other things, is a season for such self discovery through fasting. In the words of the patron poet of Lent – Rilke, we hear a call to the opening grace of fasting:

I want to unfold.                                                                                                                                                               Let no place in me hold itself closed,                                                                                                                     for where I am closed. I am false.                                                                                                                               I want to stay clear in your sight…*

Another way saying “clear” is the word empty. I wish to stay empty of my self – so to give more of my attention to the presence of the bridegroom – which is a Living Presence.

 

*Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, Trans. Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy, Pome I.13.

 

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