“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”  O Lord, how I long to hear those words spoken by you to me.  How I long to hear your sweet voice say, “my beloved” to me.  To say, I am your beloved child, your beloved son, the apple of your eye, the one who has captured your heart. The one who makes you smile, the one whose heart you pursue, the one you called to love and serve you – the one in whom you are well pleased.  O Lord, how I long to please you in all things, to do you will, to listen to your Son, to do whatever he asks of me.  How I desire that all that I do, all that I think, all that I say, all that I am; every action, every thought, ever feeling would be pleasing to you.  But I have to acknowledge, that it is not always the case.  How shameful to say.  “For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” At times my words can be less than charitable, my actions less than desirable, my thoughts sinful and prideful.  At times we can be childish in our thoughts and behaviors.  We can act and think like children of this world rather than be the beloved children we have been created and invited to be.  As children of the world, we lose our attention so quickly, we drift, we seek other passages, we find secret hiding places, we run far away from you.  Yet you desire we return to you, we run to you, we return to innocence, we allow ourselves to be-loved.  You invite us to run quickly, to pray slowly, to fast for our salvation.  You invite us to run quickly into your arms, to pray with intention, to be unhurried and to Fast; fast from the world, fast from sin, fast from selfishness, fast from greed.  You invite us to not simply give up food or a meal but to eliminate those things from our lives that prevent us from being the beloved children in whom you are well pleased. God’s peace & blessings always.