A deliberate and intentional time to draw close to God.
So it is we are in the season of Lent. We remember that Lent is a deliberate and intentional time to draw close to God. It is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter beginning with Ash Wednesday. It is a time to reflect on what God has done; what God is doing and what God will do.
One of the traditional practices of Lent is fasting.
Matthew 4:1-11 says that Jesus spent forty days fasting in the wilderness and afterwards “he was starving.”
Fasting is, as a follower of Jesus:
intentionally withholding something we would normally partake in (normally food) for the purpose of creating space in our lives to feast on the presence of Jesus “directly.”
It is holding to the truth that God’s resources meet our needs and in “making ourselves weak” we can know and receive the strength and power of God
(2 Cor 12:9-10).
In fasting, we place ourselves in the way of grace by withdrawing our reliance on earthly things so that we can feast on God’s presence and power.
Here is a twist, a modern practice on fasting, from the words of Pope Francis:
Fast from hurting words …
and say kind words.
Fast from sadness …
and be filled with gratitude.
Fast from anger …
and be filled with patience.
Fast from pessimism …
and be filled with hope.
Fast from worries …and have trust in God.
Fast from complaints …
and contemplate simplicity.
Fast from pressures …and be prayerful.
Fast from bitterness …
and fill your hearts with joy.
Fast from selfishness …
and be compassionate to others.
Fast from grudges …and be reconciled.
Fast from words …
and be silent so you can listen.
Together let us keep a good and holy Lent.