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Right now, the world, and our bodies, minds and spirits are in a transition. From darkness to light.  The clocks have been changed, and the holy days are here. Some parts of our world have sunshine and flowers; some parts are covered with snow and ice and other unpleasantness.

And Christians commemorate this as a time of fasting and repentance. It is the time we remember Jesus wandering in the wilderness preparing himself for the tasks ahead. What do you think he ate during these forty days? Surely there was no cook sent with him. Surely, he ate something. And found water to drink. What do you think he did during this time? Not eat at all? Prayer 24/7? And argue with Satan.

Can you imagine where and how he found a safe and comfortable place to sleep?

And how much did the temptations of the Satan distract his mind?

I am like that too, you know. I often turn away from the hard stuff and focus on the more pleasant things in life. Many of us are.

But we need to confront the sourness, the awful, the beating and despair, and replace the hatred with love or compassion.

How many hours have we spent in this struggle without result?

How can we change this? What can we do for the remainder of the 36 days of Lent to bring peace and joy, hope and love to the world?

And the feast of Ramadan begins next week.

Why is the Ramadan celebrated?

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship. People fast from dawn to dusk during these days, even from water. The fasting and prayer are meant to lead to spiritual cleansing and purification. Most importantly the fasting is meant as a sign of piety to feel closer to Allah. In Ramadan we try to increase our worship, good deeds and acts of charity. The last ten days and nights hold even more significance as Allah shows great mercy to His creation. And in this time of increased worship and spiritual cleansing, good deeds and acts of charity, and in light of Allah’s love and mercy towards us, the reward for every good deed of Ramadan is said to be multiplied by 70.

Let’s allow this time of year to take us in a new direction. Whatever your faith or religion or lack thereof, let’s look at making a shift, bringing ourselves closer to the people and powers and situations we want to have in our lives. Let’s take some time and space to allow for our own needs to be met.

And how much must we listen to the lies the world tells us? How many restrictive diets have you been on? For how many years have you given up the good, the loving, the things you really wanted in order to have time to do what you thought was required by others? Like losing or gaining weight? Or setting aside your needs to take care of their needs, then comforting yourself with food?

Let us take this time to deepen our prayer lives, in whatever way seems right to us. Let us look at what keeps us from following the principles we believe in and using them to help us with our food. Surely a month of fasting and prayer (or 36 days) can be used to change our attitudes towards food and other people and towards ourselves.

Blessings to you,


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