Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lenten Prayers - Gluttony

This Lenten journey has been a long, perhaps painful, one as we have been forced to slowly consider those things which, if left untended to, will lead us to death. Today we come to the last stop on the journey and consider gluttony - the temptation to "feed the soul with the body's food," in Maxie Dunham's evocative phrase. As we reflect on our tendency to drift into compulsive consumption disorder, we come to realize that gluttony is not just about food, but about all the ways we try to fill the empty spaces with that which does not satisfy. Such reflection gives us the opportunity to stop, to confess, to receive forgiveness, and to repent by the grace of God. Next week, resurrection! This week, chosen dying. And so, we pray.

Oh God, creator and giver of all my appetites and desires, forgive me when I try to satisfy my hunger for You with anything but You.

Forgive my exaltation of the desires of body and mind to idolatrous levels demanding obscene piles of foods for both. Forgive me the full-focused, obsessive pilgrimage for exactly the right vinegar or coffee or CD or…, and the picayune critique of the vintage waters, and the need to have things "just so."  Forgive me the trained inability to wait, even for a moment, for what I want - what I have convinced myself I deserve. Forgive me for entertaining myself into mindless oblivion. Forgive the relentless quest for the new, the best, the latest, the revolutionary - when what I have, works well.

Oh God, help me to recognize my flat-lined existence as a cry for deep life which will only be found in life's grand adventure with You. Help me to find as much pleasure in your provision of bread and water as in your provision of much more. Teach me the ways of waiting. Enable the discipline of hungers and desires so that they serve rather than rule. Lead me to simple, sparse joys. Let me enter joyously and fully into the feasts that celebrate community, and into the fasts that create separation. Guide my paths into places of satisfaction in You - and You alone.

O Lord, Jesus Christ, You are the Son of God. I am a sinner. Please, have mercy on me.

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