Long after the sun sets, its light remains in the reflection of the moon and the living things nourished by its warmth.
Close your eyes for just a moment. In this present darkness, be reminded that you are never alone. Feel God's presence already with you, calling you forward.
When you are ready, open your eyes and heart, and take these first steps in the journey to the cross.
"And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Two years ago, my wife and I gave up eating meat for Lent. It wasn’t out of a deep moral conviction; it was really just an experiment. We had found our dinners to be rather predictable, so we figured the best way to get out of the rut was to make a complete shift from what we knew. We had to leap out of our comfort zone.
What we discovered surprised us. We enjoyed cooking together even more as we wrestled with new recipes and ingredients. We were purchasing more fresh produce, and found ourselves making wiser choices (vegetarian fast food is pretty hard to find). We felt much happier and healthier, so much so that we’ve continued to this day.
Discovering those things that will help you heal or grow may mean setting aside other things that aren’t easy to set aside. It may not feel natural at the time. But when you do find that treasure, you’ll be surprised to find your heart, too – and the hand of God along the journey.
Nourishing God, all good things come from you. Help me to make healthy choices so that your treasure invested in me can be a reflection of your love. Amen.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
Thou my redeemer, my love thou hast won,
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Irish song (8th cenury); tr. Mary E. Byrne