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Silence: Fasting From Words

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.
(Mk 1: 12-13)

My Lenten fasting, prayer, reading, and alms-giving all seem on target. Usually, in such a state, the creative juices start flowing and I cannot type the words as fast as my brain is thinking them. A theme emerges and I just have to share it. This year is different.

Then I heard the Gospel yesterday. I heard the homily. Father compared our culture to a spiritual desert. It is dry. It is Godless. It is without sustenance. It leads to death.

Then I read Pope Benedict XVI’s Journey to Easter:

First the desert is the place of silence, of solitude. It is the absence of the exchanges of daily life, its noise and its superficiality. The desert is the place of the absolute, the place of freedom, which sets man before the ultimate demands. Not by chance is the desert the place where monotheism began. In that sense it is a place of grace. In putting aside all preoccupations man encounters his Creator.

I recalled the words of Fr. Jerry Pokorsky at last week’s lecture on spiritual combat. He compared the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to seeds lying dormant in the desert. If we call forth these gifts the desert will blossom with the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Then I found the theme. This Lent I will find the desert. It is a place of both death and life. There is a deprivation of the material world but an abundance of grace. There is solitude and silence. Yet the voices of the Spirit, the Scripture, and the Saints seem louder.

When Pope Benedict XVI focused his Lenten message on fasting, I felt compelled to increase my fasting during this Lent. I thought I would be fasting from food. It seems I will be fasting from words as well—giving up the nonessential. I think I will keep blogging this Lent. But in this Lenten desert words may seem more measured and sparse. We shall see. It will be up to the Holy Spirit. But at Easter, I hope this fasting will bring forth the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual desert of our culture.


Rosemary Bogdan said…
Denise, yes, this is how it feels. I think, like you, I may keep writing but the posts will probably be brief. have a great Lent.
Sarah Reinhard said…
Thanks for this, Denise. Perhaps you've explained some of what I've been feeling too. Hmm.
Micki said…
"Fasting from Words" caught my eye. I wondered if it was going to mean stop talking so much, stop blogging so much, stop reading useless words so much.......such an interesting concept. I pray I find the right "desert" for me. Thank you.

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