Quantcast
Latest Stories

Fasting is more

By

Moses twice spent 40 days on Mount Sinai without eating or drinking, in mourning over Israel’s sin.

Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness, being tempted by the devil.

Today, the 40 days of fasting started last Feb 13.

Through the centuries, fasting continues to be the Christians’ act of humility before God, to seek His divine intervention in the events of our lives and in the world.

Fasting is the discipline of abstinence from food. It can also consist of eating very little or abstinence from certain foods.

But why do Christians fast?

Those who seek God through fasting can expect tremendous rewards for their personal lives as well as for any other intentions they pray for – breakthroughs in healing, finances, family relationships and freedom from some bad habit, addiction, or vice, or to share in the suffering of those who go without.

Twenty years ago, I fasted on Tuesdays and Thursdays for almost three months, just eating bread from 6am to 6pm, because I was seeking God’s healing for my husband who was stricken with cancer (though we weren’t told it was cancer then). He literally rose from his bed after that, got hired for a new job and lived for six more years more.

But is abstaining from meat enough to please God?

Basil the Great wrote: “Take heed that you do not make fasting to consist only in abstinence from meats. True fasting is to refrain from vice. Shred to pieces all your unjust contracts. Pardon your neighbors. Forgive them their trespasses…”

In short, we must also concentrate on spiritual matters. This Lenten season as we become less concerned with preparing meals and eating, let’s not think that fasting is not really eating less. Rather, it is more – more time to pray, seek God’s face, and repent. Let’s use our hunger to know God more, to reflect on how to become more like him and become the persons He wants us to be.

Because we deprive ourselves of the usual amount of food, the favorite things we do, and the activities we love to engage in, we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in a most unusual, powerful way. If a glass is empty, you can put a lot of water and fill it up.

Fasting is more.

“It helps us concentrate on the Word of God to make it more meaningful, vital, and practical in our lives. It transforms prayer into a richer, more personal experience. It can help us regain a strong sense of spiritual determination and restore the loss of our first love for our Lord. “(http://www.salvationarmyusa.org)

But fasting need not be all that serious. Matthew 6:16 says: “Whenever you fast, don’t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive so their fasting is obvious to people.”

How can we make fasting a joyful experience?

When we fast, let’s accompany it with helping those in need. We can also give generously as we are able. When we immerse in giving out of our selves, our talent, time and treasure, we can receive the grace from God to feel good, happy and fulfilled.

As a last thought, I hope I have encouraged my children enough to fast. I hope they will continue to remember the miracle that happened to their late father when I fasted. I pray they pass on the proper way of fasting to their own children.

If we teach our children to fast properly, this will develop their spiritual strength to overcome greater temptations later in their lives.

I share with you St. Augustine’s prayer: “Come Lord, work upon us, set us on fire and clasp us close, be fragrant to us, draw us to your loveliness, let us love, let us run to you.”

Fasting opens our spirits to gain all these experiences with God. As we lose ourselves in fasting, we actually gain more.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: belief , Christians , faith , Fasting , Religions




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  5. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  6. Town, DENR play tug-of-war over crocodile
  7. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  9. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  10. Motorcycle race ends in shooting; 1 killed, 6 hurt
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • Luzon grid power reserve ‘enough’ for Holy Week
  • Pimentel proposes incentives for companies that will hire ex-convicts
  • State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  • SBMA execs, 2 others face graft raps
  • Pangasinan beachgoers warned vs jellyfish
  • Sports

  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  • New-look Azkals tie Qatari side
  • San Miguel Beermen eye No. 2 slot, battle Air21 Express
  • Filipinos yield to Iraqis anew Asian club volley
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Noisy celeb spews venom, backs off when confronted
  • Business

  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • BOC sues steel importers
  • BIR continues to miss collection target
  • Technology

  • Tech company: change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Measures set against entry of MERS-CoV
  • Japan backs PH in case before UN
  • Las Vegas union starts pickets over wages, benefits
  • Fil-Am Daly City councilor has eye on Superior Court seat
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement