February 21, 2024 at 11:12 a.m.

Feast, don’t fast, on showing more love

Tom Cronin is the Director of Evangelization & Strategic Planning in the Diocese of Albany.  Contact Tom with any questions about boosting evangelization efforts at your parish at Thomas.Cronin@rcda.org or by visiting www.rcda.org/evangelization. Follow me on Instagram: tom_rcda.
Tom Cronin is the Director of Evangelization & Strategic Planning in the Diocese of Albany. Contact Tom with any questions about boosting evangelization efforts at your parish at [email protected] or by visiting www.rcda.org/evangelization. Follow me on Instagram: tom_rcda.

By Thomas Cronin | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

I felt worn down recently after an arduous day of difficult meetings and phone calls. As I commuted up the Northway to go home, I enjoyed the solitude in my car and a revelation struck me while reflecting on the day. 

Upon greeting my wife in the kitchen when I arrived home, I blurted out with exuberance ... “I did it!” Catching her a bit off guard, she was quite curious in knowing what I did. I told her that I figured out all the problems in the world including our Church and simply stated — “we lack love.”

As I contemplated the stories shared with me during the day by the priests, trustees, parish staff and parishioners I spoke with, the common denominator was a lack of love for one other. We should have a higher expectation on how we treat each other in the “church world,” but as saints in training, we are all sinners. To truly love one another is easier said than done, but our words and deeds in each and every encounter matter.

St. Mother Teresa stated that, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” What a wonderful quote! Think about the amazing impact we could have if we acted with more love and less concern about our ego, pride or power. Relationships are what matter. Every interaction matters. It’s up to us. We are given the gift of free will to be the loving face of Christ to everyone or no one.

During this Lenten season, maybe we should feast on being more loving, caring and empathetic to those around us rather than just giving up something like chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, sacrificing and fasting during Lent along with prayer and almsgiving are critical for our journey in preparation for Easter, but my gut tells me that Jesus would be happier if we followed His example and loved more. 

An adaptation from the poem “A Lenten Prayer” by William Arthur Ward beautifully reframes our focus on what we should be fasting from and feasting on:

Fast from judging others; feast on Christ in them.

Fast from wanting more; feast on being thankful.

Fast from anger; feast on patience.

Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.

Fast from complaining; feast on ­appreciation.

Fast from negatives; feast on ­positives.

Fast from stress; feast on prayer.

Fast from bitterness; feast on ­forgiveness.

Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.

Fast from worry; feast on hope.

Fast from gossip; feast on ­silence.

Fast from fighting; feast on peace.

May we have the courage and willpower to take action to fast on the ways of the world and feast on the ways of Jesus Christ. Let’s pray for each other so we may have the most impactful and meaningful Lent ever.

Tom Cronin is the Director of Evangelization & Strategic Plan­ning in the Diocese of Albany. Contact Tom with any questions about boosting evangelization efforts at your parish at [email protected] or by visiting www.rcda.org/evangelization. Follow me on Instagram: tom_rcda.


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