I was taught that the Lenten season before Easter is fasting time: fasting from meat and dairy foods, quieting emotional responses, working at simple tasks; and a time to give more thanks to God and more gifts to charity.
These practices are to lead us to sanctification, the nurturing in ourselves, by God, of humility before God.
The thing is that humility is like a shadow or a dream. Humility comes closest exactly when we don’t grasp after it. These fasting rituals serve to distract us from focus on the wrong things, from looking too hard for what we cannot see, to keep us from be deluded about our own holiness.
At sixty-five years of age, I don’t tolerate fifty days of carbo-loaded vegan fasting so I search for other disciplines to adopt. This systematic collecting of things to give away is right up my alley. The trick of it will be to find good and useful things to send on as blessings rather than simply to purge my home of broken things and trash — although that too has its benefits!
I already have a collection of duplicate bakeware earmarked for the next rummage sale, cleared out of a too-full cupboard last week. Today I sent a book off to a distant friend… Although that book had been intended as a gift, I can see that it may be time to cull my books. Perhaps I can find forty books, good books, books that blessed me and now may bless others, to take to Yesterday’s Books, or the public library.
That may be my Lenten discipline.