Excitement, hope

When it signaled the beginning of the current liturgical year 357 days ago, Advent brought along the usual trappings of a new year: excitement, hope, a clean slate. It’s safe to say that no one could have imagined all that 2020 would bring to the world and its people.
The related uncertainty and stress, whether global, local, or individual, has me thinking that I received an education I probably could have done without -- but that is not the plan for one striving to honor a vow of conversatio morum.

This weekend we feast with Christ the King and next spring during Lent we will fast with Jesus the Redeemer. While feasting and fasting are most commonly associated with food, they can be applied to other things as well. The following came to mind as I continue to reflect on the year that was, and the schooling I’ve received through the lens of Benedict’s way of life. There is much to learn.


FAST from judging others
FEAST on looking for connection

FAST from emphasis on differences
FEAST on what you have in common

FAST from fears of illness
FEAST on thoughts of wellness

FAST from words that pollute
FEAST on words that bless

FAST from irritation
FEAST on gratitude

FAST from worry
FEAST on what is not broken

FAST from complaining
FEAST on acknowledgement

FAST from bitterness
FEAST on letting it go

FAST from discouragement
FEAST on hope

FAST from idle gossip
FEAST on purposeful silence

FAST from lists of losses
FEAST on receiving comfort and support

FAST from concerns that overwhelm
FEAST on the prayers of your heart

Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God – Rule of Benedict 43:3

FAST & FEAST by Marilyn Schauble, OSB