For a long time, I ignored the canon law on fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. For those of you who don’t know, Catholic Christians are required to fast on these two days.
Fasting is required on Ash Wednesday because it marks the beginning of the Lenten fast or the 40 days before Easter. These forty days represent the 40 days that Jesus fasted and underwent temptation in the desert.
In Catholicism, Easter is the most important liturgical holiday and fasting, abstaining from meat, and other penances are ways that we can prepare ourselves for the Resurrection.
Additionally, we fast on Good Friday because this is the day that Christ sacrificed his flesh for us.
GUYS, I am so embarrassed to say this, but even though I knew all of the reasons I was supposed to fast, I didn’t do it. I never took it seriously until this year and, boy was it hard.
However, once I had done it, I realized the importance and meaning behind it.
Here are three things I learned from fasting, and they are the reason why I fasted yesterday and will continue to fast periodically.
Resubmits You to God’s Will
Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday made me realize how powerful the temptation to eat was.
I had no idea how strong temptation could be until I tried to resist it.
The desire to eat was powerful, but in resisting it, I learned that I was able to focus on God’s Will more than mine.
I knew that God wanted me to fast that day and in pursuing that endeavor, my will became aligned with His.
I was able to stop focusing on what I wanted to eat and, honestly, what I wanted in general and focus on Him.
Also, it made me realize how far away from His Will I was.
There were so many times throughout the day where I wanted to just plain GIVE UP.
Ya know you don’t realize your dedication to someone or something until you are asked to sacrifice or do something that you don’t want to do.
This constant battle with myself was very humbling in realizing how much I let my desires influence my will on a daily basis.
It reinforced the fact that fasting is an essential spiritual practice and extremely beneficial in learning how to follow God’s will.
Luckily, God’s Will is infinitely stronger than mine, and I was able to resist the temptation.
Teaches You How to Sacrifice
The guidelines for fasting are that you can have two snacks and one meal on that day and the two snacks combined cannot be larger than the meal.
Although I could eat these small things and meal throughout the day, it was still SO hard.
In submitting myself to God’s, it taught me how to sacrifice.
God’s Will will not always align with mine and fasting was a good way for me to practice denying myself and my desires so that I could be in line with His desires and will for me.
Doing this has helped me to deny myself in other areas that I know are not in line with Him.
Fasting on some Fridays in addition to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday help to practice this denial so that when we are asked to pick up and carry our cross, we can.
It was also a wake-up call in how much Christ suffered for us. Christ died for us, and I can’t even skip dinner?
And He loved us through it all?
My impatience and anger during fasting was, again, humbling, and gave me a better perspective of His suffering (although I’ll never fully know)
Denying myself physical sustenance made me rely more on spiritual nourishment and prayer.
I don’t know about y’all, but when I don’t eat, I get extremely agitated.
I want to lock myself in my room and not talk to anyone the whole day. However, that is not the proper way to fast (we’re supposed to act like we’re not fasting) and I had to go to work.
At work, I talk to a lot of various people throughout the day, and because I was hungry, I was agitated.
However, in knowing that I shouldn’t treat people poorly, I had to rely on God to satisfy me spiritually so I could treat people the way they deserve to be treated.
In being physically hungry, I was able to recognize how much God feeds me spiritually.
I was able to rely on Him for spiritual sustenance rather than look to food to give me pleasure or make me feel good.
All in all, fasting was a very eye-opening experience! It made me realize the things above and brought me closer to God.
I fast periodically, in addition to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, to remind myself of these things and I invite you too as well!
We may not come to the same realizations when we fast, but, when done properly, fasting will always bring you closer to God!
What does fasting teach you? Leave me a comment below
Want more delicious recipes and faith posts? I recommend my summer salad with candied pecans, anti-inflammatory strawberry and banana smoothie, the best avocado toast, is God your happiness?, 3 things food reminds me of every day, and why I fasted yesterday and why you should too!
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