In the past here at Priestly Goth, I’ve taken Lent to offer up my reflections on this time of fasting, penitence and Self-Reflection. This Lent my writing is focused on worship liturgy and tradition (continuing reflections begun here and here) , and human sexuality . However, I thought as we conclude the first full week of Lent that I would direct readers attention to past reflections with brief comment.
Why Fast? and Further Reflections on Fasting. Wrote these two posts Last year because the Oratory of Jesus Christ Reconciler decided to share in the fast (as each was able) fasting using Eastern Orthodox Lenten fast guidelines. We are doing so again this year. Fasting has been and still remains for me a bit of a puzzle. It is a spiritual practice I take part in (or maybe better attempt ) to but I don’t do it well, and I don’t Intuit the fast. Fasting makes most sense to me in the patterns of the Church year of having periods of fasting and periods of feasting and celebration. These aren’t the only reasons to nor patterns of fasting, but when I’ve tried fasting outside of these liturgical patterns I become way to focused on the not eating, then any intensified sense of prayer or other spiritual benefits.
A couple of years ago I engaged Peter Rollins on his Atheism for Lent program and explored the “atheism” Rollins was offering for lent with ST. John of The Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul. I found certain parallels, but also significant differences. thinking about that conversation in relationship to some of what I’m currently thinking on: I don’t want to offer and develop some new approach based on some idea or practice from the history of the Christian Church of some Saint of the Church, nor do I want to simply take whole cloth some past practice or idea and attempt to adhere to it as if time hasn’t passed. What I seek to do is see those who have gone before as companions on the Way and to see what is passed down in the Tradition of the Church as something to live into as a person of the 21st century. As I see it these two approaches need no retrieval, or bringing things forward, rather it is bringing myself to the Church and seeing what springs up from taking what i know and experience and offering it to what has been given to me through the life giving blood of the Church and the Mind of Christ, and the inspiration of the Spirit. I receive and offer, not take and mold. In both approaches something new will emerge. One forms a new kind of Christianity, in the other one discovers in the treasury the old and new together..
I hope you may find these Lenten thoughts of benefit and an aid to your Lenten journey and practice this year.