Making a Fast

from all those things
that have filled my belly
for so long.
Bloated from excesses,
slowed and dulled and
numbed in spirit.
Lord, let me make a fast
from those POISONS I have called
from the POVERTY I have called
from that SHALLOWNESS I have called
from any MEAGERNESS I have called
I am ready to go out with You
to be emptied
in whatever desert will be mine.
Lord let me make a fast.
May I fast from SPEED.
May I drive more slowly.
May I remove these shoes that help me walk
and with great purpose -
and may my feet contact your earth,
with great care,
with gentleness
with much respect.
May I walk as your calm presence in this world.
May my voice be lower, slower.
May it be a voice more understood
by those whose ears are failing;
a safer voice that does not make the listener
ask again,
a voice that comforts in its tones.
May I be your slow and soothing, still small voice.
May there be breeze where I have passed,
not cyclone,
not chaos,
not whirlwind sense of things of great import,
but only the echoing whisper of
where you have walked.
Lord, may I fast from SPEED.

May I fast from BUSYNESS.
May I learn to bless my simple be-ing,
and may I come to know that be-ing
as the fertile soil that roots and grounds
my do-ing.
May my days be less full, less likely to implode,
collapsing in on themselves, a black hole
dense with all those tasks, commitments,
I simply cannot cease to do,
for fear the world - indeed, the universe -
cease along with them.
Instead, may there be holes and gaps,
may there be light,
great periods of wicked, wasteful idleness,
that devil's workshop
transformed as, slowly, I come to trust
that You are there
in the quiet,
in the calm,
in the vacuum
of nothing planned to do
but be alive,
that being quite enough.
Lord, may I fast from BUSYNESS.

Lord, may I fast from FEAR.
May I come out from my hiding.
May I know sun and snow,
wind and rain,
feel heat and cold
as armor drops
to only such protection as I need,
no less, but most assuredly
no more.
May I befriend the shadow.
May I coax it out of hiding,
remove its ban of excommunication,
bring it back from exile.
May I embrace that darker side
that I have banished for so long,
beaten down, denied,
and my I own it fully.
May I give shadow energy a voice,
and come to know that healing lies in unity,
polarities in tension,
never in denial.
Lord, may I fast from FEAR.

May fasting time be sacrament,
outward sign, inward grace;
empty belly, an open space wherein You
might dwell
replacing illusion of fullness.

by Gloria Carpeneto

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