While growing up, Lent was a time of “giving up” something we liked (chocolate) and not eating meat on Fridays. Even if it was a sacrifice, it was temporary and not very meaningful. Unity embraces a more spiritual meaning for Lent.
In the Foreword to Charles Fillmore’s Keep a True Lent, Georgiana Tree West provides an excellent summary of the meaning of Lent, “the season of prayer and fasting that precedes the joyous festivity of Easter.” She reminds us, “… Moses, Elijah, and Jesus Himself … observed a forty-day period of prayer and fasting as a preparation for spiritual work. …Jesus began His great spiritual ministry at the close of His fast in the wilderness.”
“When we consider Lent as a … ‘completed’ season of retreat from the things of the world for the cleansing of the mind and the recollection of the things of Spirit, it becomes a true season of preparation … for the resurrection of the mind … ”
“Jesus revealed that fasting, like prayer, is a matter between man and his Maker. … Prayer and fasting, then, are matters of communion with God, not matters of public display. … In abstinence from worldly things the mind must be filled with thoughts of God, else there is no spiritual value in fasting.”
“…we must learn to fast from all unworthy thought and feast on the good and the true. … we must fast from criticism and condemnation and feast in brotherly love; fast from false beliefs in sickness and weakness and feast on the truth of God’s omnipresent, perfect life; fast from false beliefs in lack and limitation and feast on the truth of God’s bountiful good will.”
“…Now is the time to affirm the power of the Christ Spirit indwelling in all men everywhere and influencing their thoughts, words, and actions to work for the good of the whole. We all want to be of some influence in establishing world peace. … When we withdraw our attention, interest, and support from the false and the unworthy, this is true fasting. When we give that same attention, interest, and support to the enduring good, we are feasting on the things of the Spirit, and this is true prayer.”
One does not have to start this spiritual practice on Ash Wednesday. Moses, Elijah and Jesus did not. The ancient Hebrew writers used the number forty “to indicate a completed preparation for something to follow.” Rev. Toni tells us forty means, “as long as it takes.” We can start anytime and use as many days as we need to prepare for our own resurrection into the light of spiritual understanding.
We affirm joy for you this Easter season.
Love, Light and Peace to All,
Chris Kraus (email@example.com)
Kandi Austin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carole M. Kirby (email@example.com)
Debbie Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carolyn Rocha (email@example.com)
Theresa Wyatt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nancy Ahr (email@example.com)