In 2014, Pope Francis said, “Fasting makes sense if it questions our security, and if it also leads to some benefit for others…” YES! Fasting should stretch us, whatever that means for you, but it shouldn’t make you gleeful. “Hee Hee look at meeeee! I’m fasting and no one knows iiiit!” Lame. Where’s the humility in that? I’m gonna be honest—I suck at fasting. I'm hella lame. I get angry. I get dizzy. I can’t concentrate. At that point, the fruitfulness of my fast has struck midnight, and it’s time to reign it in. I still fast, don’t misunderstand me, but I have began to ponder more and more about fasting from other things too: the media/computer/devices (so much material here it’s for another post!), buying too much at the grocery store (trust me, I have five boys, it’s easy), discerning what actually is only vital to buy all together, vanity (long list here, like worrying about my hair, makeup, matching--which is hilarious because on any given day I am wearing purple horrific crocs, sweats that look straight outta Frodo Baggins' pants collection, and am possibly showered etc.), judging people in traffic, making passive aggressive comments to those I love (i.e., my kids), berating myself for not being organized/healthy/efficient/smart/successful/thin enough, resenting my husband for being gone when he works long hours—this list could go on and on and on—I’m no holy roller, folks. Crap gets real after a while, as it should always have been. The point is, these are all things that I should be working on all the time anyway, but when I pick something in particular, to be honest, it changes my life every time. You may judge me but I tell you, it hurts to let go of worrying what others will think of me when I let go of some stupid vanities. Humility should hurt a bit. Jesus certainly allowed it to affect Him full blast on the cross, and He embraced it.
It most definitely makes me question my security when I’m only buying minimalistically, and I'm making that list painfully. Prepping myself to present to the kids, “This week and from now on, we will only have ___ for snack after school” or “cold lunch most days of the week” [enter groans of despair and] "Mom's doing holy crap again!"etc.
And btw, it’s not fasting if it's purposely something easy. The point isn't food as much as offering. Think of it like this: Would it be easy to order a delicious coffee for yourself, and then turn around, and instead, pay for the person in back of you and cancel your own order of coffee? It’s not easy, I promise. But if I'm wrong, and at the end of the day it's entirely possible--pick some little thing that cause a bit of discomfort that you never give up.
Go forth, brave Ladies Of Lent!