Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble scatter the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself.–Saint Augustine
Lenten season is coming and so I want to talk about fasting. As Christians, we celebrate this through the discipline of prayer, fasting and alms giving. This is an exciting time of strengthening our relationship with God.
Fasting is abstaining from eating all kinds of foods except water. There are some modified fasts such as drinking only fresh fruit juice or eating raw vegetables.
Bro. Nataniel Bronner on his book Quickfasting mentioned that food is the man’s greatest carnal impulse.Many believe that sex is the strongest fleshly drive, but it is not. We may think ego is the strongest of the fleshly impulses,but it is not. From the day we are born, the desire for food reigns dominant. Fasting allows us to gain control of the appetite. When we can develop the discipline to fast, we automatically develop the discipline not to overeat. When we can control your strongest carnal appetite (the desire for food), we can then gain control of the other carnal appetites.
According to Bro. Bo Sanchez,w hen we fast, we’re telling God that He’s more important than food. So instead of eating, we spend it in prayer, reading Scripture, writing your journal, meditating before the Blessed Sacrament, reading spiritual books. It declares that we’re dead serious about pursuing Him because you’re crazy enough to say no to something so basic as food.
When we fast, our body eliminates toxins.Because of this, we can feel some undesirable effects. Bro Nataniel Bronner called it FAST FLUSH. The more toxins we build up in our body through years of inappropriate diet and vices such as alcohol drinking and smoking, the more the fast flush will bring out. The more toxic our system, the more exhausted we will feel. It is NOT LACK OF FOOD that caused us to become weak and exhausted, it is the toxins. The person who is on fasting is not STARVING. The real danger of fasting is not starvation but on the process of sudden elimination of poisons from a very toxic body.
Drinking lots of water is essential in fasting…
Body Weight in pounds divided by 2 equals The amount of water you should drink daily in ounces.
This is the rule for water intake when we are not in fasting.It should nearly double when in fasting. Water helps to flush to toxins and helps to reduce feeling of hunger.
When the lenten season is over, we must remember that breaking a fast is very important. One of the greatest mistake is to eat large amount of hard to digest food after fasting that will cause constipation and stomachache. Eating fruits and fruit juices is advisable and If you are eating dairy products, It is best to include yoghurt in your diet.It contains good bacteria that helps restore the intestinal flora.
Fasting should not be used for the purpose of losing weight permanently. Fast slows our metabolism.If we will eat the same amount of food after the fast as before, we need more physical activity to use the extra efficiency and slowed metabolism. If we eat the same, and have the same activity level,we may get fatter! we will lose weight temporarily through fasting but only change of lifestyle and mentality can make it permanent.
In conclusion, Fasting is beneficial not only in the spiritual aspect of our life but also in our health. But before doing it, It is important to consult your doctor to determine the risk and to ask whether fasting is contraindicated in the medicines that you are taking.