Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Commercialisation of Fasting
I do resent the notion that fasting and abstainence should be presented, especially in our schools, in terms of the cash value to aid charities. "I fast in order to save, in order to give to an orgainisation that gives to the poor", has a hint of commercialisation, literally the cash value of fasting.
Primarily fasting and abstainence are acts of worship, they go together with prayer. A by product is a strengthening of the will, a cutting loose of ties that bind us to Self, much less important might or might not be more spare cash, health benefits etc. Almsgiving is important too but Jesus expects us to use it as a way of getting involved with the poor, using a "agency" of some kind seems a bit like "buying in services" to distance ourselves from face to face giving.
Worship and obedience to Christ, should be an end in themselves. We fast because the Lord told us to do so. One can, and the Gospel encourages us, to fast for a particular intention, to overcome a particular "demon" in our lives. TheFathers speak about fasting to subdue the flesh, for example an addiction to pornography, which seems so prevalent and not just amongst the young.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake