Random Lent Thought for March 4th: Fasting (Part 2)

Continuing my random Lent thoughts from yesterday…

I said that the first purpose of fasting is to remove distractions and make space in our life for God to fill. The second purpose is for us to practice self-control. To put it bluntly, self-control means being able to do things we don’t want to do – or being able not to do things we want to do – in the cause of a higher good. There is no growth in character without self-control. But we have been formed in a culture that encourages self-indulgence, not self-control. So fasting – abstaining from things we want to do, whether eating or watching TV or blogging or whatever – is good practice, because it helps us grow those self-control muscles, learning to say ‘no’ to our cravings and ‘yes’ to the quiet leadings of the Holy Spirit.

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2 thoughts on “Random Lent Thought for March 4th: Fasting (Part 2)

  1. Andrew Hicks

    Thanks for this. One of my twelve-year old choristers asked about fasting on Ash Wednesday, assuring me that it was unhealthy and that no one should do it. I did not answer her well (though I did point out that there are people in this world who go hungry and not by voluntary choice, and our fasting is a reminder to us of what this is like), and I wish that I had had your plainspoken words to help. I was too complicated, and she didn’t get it. I may try again with the full choir this Wednesday.

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