Fasting from food is the normal fasting practice during Lent. Although now people fast from many things: a particular food group, sweets, TV, or the internet. On Street Prophets Starwoman posted a great post on fasting last year. Fortunately she linked to it in yesterday’s coffee hour for those of us who missed it the first time or just forgot about it. Here is an excerpt:
Fasting and Gratitude
This is a simple application of the old saying Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Fasting can sharpen our appreciation of what we do have, what we may otherwise take for granted.
Americans have a lack of appreciation for the things we have; we waste so much that what we discard in one day could feed all of Africa.
– Brother V., Franciscan missionary to Africa for 17 years
Physical hunger, Spiritual hunger
For me, this is the most compelling reason to fast. Hunger is frequently used metaphorically in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and I suspect in other scriptures as well. We hunger for God, we hunger for justice, we hunger and thirst for mercy, we thirst for God as a deer thirsts for running streams.
Let your body teach you what it means to hunger.
What do you hunger for?
Who or what is the Divine for which you hunger?
What do you hunger to see in the world?
She also has tips for those of us that have trouble fasting because of low blood sugar levels. I stopped fasting because of low blood sugar and what it did to me after 3:00. With her advice, I think I am going to fast until after the Ash Wednesday service (8:00 p.m.). And if it goes well fast on Fridays this Lent. Thank you Starwoman.