Sunday, 13 March 2011

Austin Farrer: 'Lent'

"Why have men always fasted? Originally, perhaps, to move the pity of heaven by a sort of hunger-strike: to show that their prayers were in earnest. But it is as necessary now as ever it was that we should show our prayers to be in earnest. God bestows himself on those who desire him. What then is the evidence that we desire him? Not words alone, feeling still less. Nothing but action can give seriousness to our desire for God. We are in earnest if for God's sake we displease ourselves. If we abstain from needless indulgence, much more, if we find the weak point in our service of God, and attack it with resolution. Resolutions are no good, unless we are prepared to find them broken, and to renew them, every day. It is no fast if it is easy. Displease yourself, and have fellowship with Christ. For he pleased not himself, and his prayers were heard. And for what did he pray? he prayed for, and obtained, our salvation."
from 'The Crown of the Year'

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