Broader Look at Fasting

Posted by

The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Emmanuel Menguito SVD — Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City

Friday After Ash Wednesday of Lent

Image via / Wikimedia Commons

The practice of fasting is in reality geared for various purposes depending on the individual who goes through this discipline. As Christians, we try to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ, who fasted for forty days in the desert as his way of preparing for his public ministry. Fasting is a way by which one does penance for sins and to achieve conversion.

People who have made fasting a part of their regular regimen can attest that such discipline has helped them attain freedom of mind, grow in self-control, and not uncommonly have a better and more critical vision of reality. It is also a means to take care of one’s health.

For those who have a more altruistic view of fasting, it can be a form of solidarity with the poor, who are more often deprived of food and nourishment. For those who want to make a strong stand on some issues, especially of the political kind, they use fasting to protest.

During this Lenten season, we certainly need to see fasting in its spiritual purposes, which would mean seeing it as a way of achieving holiness and gaining the most needed graces as we go through our Lenten observance.

Taking a broader view of fasting, we can extend it to other ways of depriving ourselves other than food, certainly an act of sacrifice worthy of this season of Lent. Thus one can fast from spending much time on social media or watching movies and TV shows. Another person may fast by depriving him/herself of going shopping and that the money saved be donated to charity or to feed the poor.

The possibilities are really endless for anyone. It boils down to one’s desire to give up something during this time and thereby find sanctification from such an act. 

Indeed, one’s Lenten observance becomes truly meaningful for oneself and a very noble way to show our love for others, especially those who are less fortunate.

One comment

Leave a Reply