The conversion series I
What can you tell me about Lent?
In a way, life can be seen as a Lent, as the preparation for the final step, Easter, resurrection. It will be good to internalize Lent. Giving the body some fasting never hurts; it shows us the dependence we have on food as a means to appease anxieties, it exposes our slavery to acquired habits and customs. The main purification that fasting or some deprivation shows us; It results from this awareness that brings us back a bit to humility. It places us with more criteria in the reality that we live and not in which we believe we live.
What reality do we live in? Dependency. Endless desires that have become needs. It is no longer the need of drinking water but rather this or that flavored drink. It is no longer eating what we need but that particular dish that we want so much and that the more we taste the more we desire. And just as doing the exercise of depriving the body of something habitual puts us in the presence of the submission in which we live to its impulses; giving the mind some fasting leaves us surprised; we notice the vagabond sleeper in which we usually remain.
What would it be to fast in the mind?
Stop ruminating the same old thoughts. Stop always thinking about the same things as if in that chewing of tensions the problems were going to be solved. Recognize that, in the same way that we usually eat a certain sweet for breakfast, thoughts tend to run along the same old path, more or less at the same times. We always tend to eat the same thing, dependent as we are on such aromas and flavors. Likewise, we always tend to “think” the same thing, dependent as we are on certain “worrying” sensations that, if they were not present, would reveal the emptiness of meaning in our daily lives.
Disregarding the thoughts that appears and directing your attention to your inner purpose is a formidable mental fast. For example, directing our attention to the way of prayer to which we have consecrated ourselves or towards the perception of the presence of the divine in what happens, or simply, concentrating on doing the best possible with what we have in hand at the moment; it is continuous conversion. Grabbing the attention that escapes us, again and again and bringing it back home, to the heart and taking it where we really want to deposit it, is fasting, almsgiving, purification and Lent of the soul.
Who remains present at the site of care, tends to eat less naturally, only what is necessary. From this attentive awareness, others are listened to more and a kind of spontaneous charity appropriate to each situation arises. This same vigilance shows us the constant pettiness that traps us and then we are more humble, but without sadness. It is a take off your makeup and look straight ahead and find yourself unconditionally love right there. This liturgical season is supposed as an opportunity for conversion, for profound change … to stop defending an image, to stop pretending, to let go of care and to abandon the vain reasons that bind us to suffering is to become authentic and true penance.