Fasting and Abstinence. Are they important? Are they necessary? The Church, as a caring mother, is providing us a specific means and season for completing acts of penance, such as fasting and abstinence. Her goal is to see to it that her children attain eternal life. Her precept on fasting, then, is for our spiritual benefit.
The spiritual benefits of fasting are many. Not only is it an excellent means of engaging in penance, as Christians are required to do, but it confers other benefits such as helping to build self-mastery, the control of the soul over the desires of the flesh.
The lenten discipline of fasting opens up the true horizon of life’s meaning, purifying us of unhealthy material attachments and opening the way for the eternal Word to penetrate our hearts.
This Lent, I’m asking to be given the grace of detachment, to let go and let God, especially in times of heartache, turmoil, and disappointment. The grace to not hold things so closely that they replace God as the focal point of my life.
I think I have been channeling my inner St. Peter recently. St. Peter was a very determined, almost stubborn fellow, who was quick to jump to extremes with Jesus. Most notably, St. Peter liked to speak by using a lot of “never”s.