Schedule A Fast Day
August 20, 2014
Filed In: Faith
We fast twice per year, both days during Lent. Out of the 365 days of the year, 363 are essentially a food fest. So why does the Church ask us to spend the other two days limiting our food intake?
There’s something cathartic about denying yourself. There’s something truly unique about fasting. You notice just how much you take food for granted. You realize that there are people in the world who experience those hunger pains every single day. You focus less on you. That’s the true power of fasting.
Fasting is about more than just food. During Lent, we fast from other pleasures. We forgo the enjoyment for a greater good. We can better feel our part in the universal Church. We can cut through the materialism of our own self and recognize that we don’t need that "thing.”
Fasting was meant for more than just a few days in one particular Liturgical Season. Fasting is appropriate any day. Anytime we’re stuck in a spiritual rut, or we notice ourselves losing our way, fasting can be a great way to right the ship. That’s because fasting is an incredibly powerful prayer. Your sacrifice can directly translate into grace for someone in your life who’s hurt or suffering. It can also translate into grace that will help you overcome your own struggles.
We all have things in our lives that we’ve let take too big of a role. We’re always on our phones, we plop down on the couch for hours a week, we surf mindlessly on the Internet. I do it, too.
We can change all of that. We can integrate prayer more into our lives. We can use our own voluntary sacrifice to help make someone else’s life easier. We can use our sacrifice to prune our own lives.
Fasting isn’t just for Lent. It’s a tool for us to free ourselves or to lift someone else up.