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Catholic Prayer: To Keep A True Lent


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Poem by Robert Herrick, a meditation on how to keep a true Lent, not just following the letter of the law, but the spirit.


Is this a Fast, to keep The larder lean, And clean, From fat of veals and sheep? Is it to quit the dish Of flesh, yet still To fill The platter high with fish? Is it to fast an hour, Or rag'd to go Or show A downcast look or sour? No; 'tis a Fast to dole Thy sheaf or wheat And meat, Unto the hungry soul. It is to fast from strife. From old debate, And hate; To circumcise thy life. To show a heart grief-rent, To starve thy sin, Not bin; And that's to keep thy Lent. — Robert Herrick

Prayer Source: Holy Lent by Eileen O'Callaghan, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1975