Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pre-lent Fasting and Praying

How do you prepare for Lent? Or are you doing something in preparation for the Lent?

As for me, I am honestly not sure on how I should prepare for it. I tried to fast from Facebook because it's one of those things that I seem to get addicted with; I know that fasting with it would be a killer. However, since it's the first page that comes out from my url address bar, I had mistakenly opened that site instead of yahoo and seeing that I have new messages is such a huge temptation. It's like as if the red numbers on my notifications were calling me and telling me that I should open it and I was really sweating trying to resist the temptation. My hands were shaking and my feet were trying to walk away while my head remained to be glued on the screen, with my brain trying to figure out who messaged me.
= D I was expecting a reply from my best friend, but yeah, I gave in, replied, chatted and stayed for a while.

Fasting is hard! But, isn't it that it is supposed to be hard? A friend asked me if Lent was the reason for me not eating my dinner yesterday, I said no. Fasting for food is not fasting for me, that would be easy to do and something that I would LOVE to do. I believe that fasting should teach you how to resist temptation. It is in fasting that you can learn how to be still, be strong against the enemy's call, learn how to give up what you value at the moment and refocus your self to God.

I failed the fasting course but I believe that it is not just by fasting that we can prepare ourselves for the lent. Do I sound like I am trying so hard to make an excuse for myself? LOL

Persevering to pray, meditate, say the rosary and read the Bible regularly is my preparation. Just waaay before I decided to fast for something, for the purpose of Lent, I already tried to push my self to do some changes in my time of praying. I guess I mastered the talking-to-Jesus-like-a-friend type of prayer that I felt like I have to step up to the next level. The way I used to pray already makes me feel uncomfortable because it seems like I already did a lot of talking. I can feel something different, it's something that makes me feel guilty because I talk a lot.

I know that I have to be still but boy it is so hard to do! Whenever I try to be still, my mind wanders and then I'll start to say my petitions again. I'd start to whine again and again about this and that, then I'll exhaust myself from talking and thinking that I would be too tired to try to be still. Matthew 6:7 says, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetition, as the heathens do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (KJV).

I decided to do meditation and say the rosary to help me still so I can listen more to God. Saying the rosary is not a "vain repetition" prayer nor it is a prayer to worship other gods, which most of the other Christians say. A "vain repetition" prayer is something that you say to secure God's attention because you think that saying a certain prayer or petition over and over again will assure you of a positive outcome and saying it less will change God's mind.

The rosary is a prayer for meditation. It can help us to be steadfast. It helps our busy hearts and mind to calm down and prepare ourselves to be still in His presence. Saying the rosary, though it seems to be easy because it's a repetition, not a vain repetition just repetition, is still hard to do.

I had encountered more temptations when I say it compare to praying my regular prayers. I used to say the rosary with my family but I chose to say it on my own now because I like my own pace. I can meditate with my own speed. Now that I say it alone I had experienced to become too tired to understand and to contemplate on the words that I say, thus praying the rosary becomes just a blabbing; I also experienced being too lazy that I would think that praying the rosary will take time compared to saying a regular prayer, so I'll just do the latter because it's what I feel to do at the moment and sometimes my mind would be full of things that I know saying the rosary will require me to be focus r or else I will be totally lost in my prayer, so I won't say it.

Fasting is hard. Praying is hard. Temptations are all over the place. The enemy will never allow us to do anything for Him. Good thing we have a great understanding God who will never give up on us. We just have to continue to persevere and even take baby steps in doing what we have to do to be closer to Him. We fast and pray to learn how to be steadfast, to be still, so that the next time He speaks we can easily recognize that it is Him who is speaking and also focused enough to hear everything that He says.

Btw, I saw this picture/news from the Oblate Blog, it's about a dog who prays. If a dog can do it, surely we can do it too! Click here. ;-) Blessings!

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1 comment:

Eaglewings said...

I loved this post. It was so honest and real. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I would like to include it in my next blog carnival "Pop Goes the Gospel" at Blog Carnival.com

If you would like me to include it please submit it at blogcarnival.com and find "pop goes the gospel' and submit this article.