Fasting for “neglected” Christians
We all know a lot about fasting in theory. We know, for example, that fasting is not a diet. Nobody argues. But what should you do if, for example, a doctor prescribed a diet for health reasons, and you can’t force yourself to sit on it? The desire to eat tasty, but not healthy, constantly wins. Maybe it’s better to at least think about healthy eating and eat, for example, a steam patty instead of fried potatoes with mushrooms and pickled cucumbers? Or steam vegetables, they are just lean.
Continues the theme of food thesis "fasting is not in order to lose weight." Hmm … If you fell out of reality, seizing stress with tons of sweets, why not slow down a bit in the post, look around and in the mirror and lose a couple of pounds? Let the improvement in appearance be an additional incentive to combat gluttony. Several motives at once – and maybe this will finally work. After all, just losing weight is somehow too down to earth. Just fasting – well, there is a lot of baking and sweets without milk and eggs, an abundance of potatoes and pasta is also often present on the fasting table … In general, it seems that switching to fasting for proper nutrition is not such a bad idea, even if it is not always lean , taking into account the characteristics of health. This is the care of the temple of our spirit, after all. It is strange to kill the flesh, if it is so barely alive. First you need to restore it at least a little.
Reading the lives of saints and ascetic literature, we learn that ascetics limit themselves not only in food, but also in sleep. But what to do if you are already asleep, because at night you can’t get stuck on the phone, and often this is not even something really fascinating, but pointless scrolling through social media tapes? If this is true, then the matter is bad. The neglected stage, as we learn from the “Letters of Balamouth” by C. Lewis. Bes Balamut writes to his nephew Gnusik how to tempt the “ward” correctly:
“You don’t even need to use a good book that he really loves to distract him from prayers, work and sleep; quite a column of announcements from the evening newspaper <…> You will keep him until late at night, not in a noisy company, but in a cold room, by the extinct fireplace. ”
This is the last degree of separation from reality, from life "here and now", this is the proximity of a complete departure into "nothing." Fasting gives us a bit more determination, and maybe we will finally close the tape and give up other meaningless things. And, for starters, we’ll go to bed early.
By the way, during the day it is also very useful in every respect not to leaf through the tape. For example, if you are the mother of a small child, he will be very glad to suddenly see you without a phone in his hand ready to play with him (and not look at the same time with one eye on the screen). Perhaps the child will even become calmer and more adequate. And the supply of heat allocated to him is enough for him to be able to do something on his own. Then mom will have extra time to work or do something around the house, which in turn will help to go to bed on time. (And the next day, do not be sleepy annoyed fury, as usual.)
Fasting is a time of freedom, air, the summer sun, space. A time of new opportunities, fullness of life, relationships. The time when everyone together, looking at each other, you can take the chance to abandon bad, self-destructive habits.
Until you restore yourself to the state of just a living, whole person, it’s probably too early to think about real penance … But God helps us – especially in fasting, and can resurrect the human in us, and then His Image.
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