What are you giving up for Lent?
I don’t mean to sound preachy. I just thought of sharing the jist of the few articles about fasting that I read recently. After all, I’m one of those who are guilty of finding a perfect opportunity to trim weight during the Lent through fasting. Some of us give up meat, sweets, and other stuff that seem to be a hard habit to break, in order to fast. But why do we really fast?
Fasting is about abstaining from food for spiritual reasons. A hunger strike done by some groups even for a good cause and diet programs are not a fast because they are for vanity and/or other reasons. We should fast:
- So that our hearts will focus on God alone. In fasting, it is important to know why we are doing it. If there is no purpose, the practice is meaningless. As we fast, the motivation, sincerity and determination intensifies.
- So that what controls us is revealed to us. We discover that it is not food that sustains our lives;
- To uncover what is not essential to us. Our desires are often reckless, and they take over our lives. We crave for many things that we actually don’t need. By fasting, we feel the degree of control they have on us and we gain the opportunity to overcome them. The harder it is to fast, the stronger our desires grip us. But the more we fast, the faster we become free from them.
Isn’t it wonderful when we really know and appreciate why we’re doing something?