When meditating upon the readings of the day, I was intrigued by the whole scene. In the first reading, Moses spoke with the Lord face to face. He praised God, and pleaded for the Israelites. Then he went off for forty days and nights to be alone with the Lord. During that time he did not eat OR DRINK.
Of course, he was in the presence of the Almighty, so it’s no wonder that Moses sustained the impossible. In the New Testament, Jesus went out to the desert to fast and pray just before He began His ministry. There he was tempted by the devil.
I have heard that fasting is something “prescribed,” so to speak, biblically – more for our own sake than for God. Denying the body is said to build strength of will, strength of character – helping us to avoid other temptations (besides food) as well.
In “Words From Heaven,” messages that Mary gave the visionaries at Medjugorje are detailed. From this book, I learned that Mother Mary requests that we fast on Wednesdays and Fridays each week. I’ve tried, but I’m horrible at it! I wind up feeling more sinful when I fail than before I tried. When it comes to food, I’m shamefully undisciplined. I feel terrible about that. I know that there are many people in the world who do not have all of the food choices we have here. They literally eat to live. Here in New Orleans, we have a reputation as a people who live to eat. I try not to be!
Fasting is mentioned several times in the bible and in the lives of the great saints – always coupled with prayer. There must be some great spiritual wisdom to that combination. I’ve decided that I may have to start small – by giving up one thing on Wednesdays and Fridays instead of trying to do a strict fast. Giving up music in the car, or dessert would still be a sacrifice, but is that enough?
Have any of you practiced fasting as a part of your prayer life? If so, how it has benefitted you spiritually?