The phrase I chose to give up this week was “I hate.” In giving up “I hate,” I was disturbed by how liberally I use it—not so much to describe whole people, but more often people’s habits that irritate me. “I hate it when people are late… I hate it when people are disorganized… I hate it when people are competitive…” So often, if I’m honest with myself, I realize that my own frailties and shortcomings are the real object of my hatred towards others—frailties and shortcomings that are easier to point out as what “I hate” about someone else instead of reckoning with the unresolved hatred I still harbor toward these parts of myself. In the prayer that has accompanied my fasting from “I hate,” I’ve discovered that these shadow sides of myself are also the places where God is longing to show me mercy, and through which God is calling me into deeper relationship.

Edmund, RI