More on Fasting

produce from a croft on the Isle of Skye

While I think it is beneficial to go on “fasts” from television and the internet or other activities, I am really emphasizing this year that all who can should try a traditional Lenten fast of the more rigorous type. We are spoiled people when it comes to food – we eat plenty, we consume a lot of resources in doing that, and as a culture we are much too focussed on our cravings and worldly passions than we are on responsibility to good health and sound economics.

If you are already eating whole foods, cutting back on grocery expenditures and growing your own food, then you may not need to fast. But if you are wondering how you will ever afford food as prices rise, how you will get meals for your family, how you will improve your health as good nutrition seems to become more inaccessible, then now is the time to commit to a food fast, a period of reducing one’s intake, of eating lower on the food chain, of learning how to cook sustainably.

Yes, give up television, and do it permanently. Give up computer and facebook games – they are a waste of productive time. Find activities that will improve your health and allow you more time with family, with community and with God.

But take this opportunity to learn a new way of life.

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5 thoughts on “More on Fasting

  1. Very well put. Too many people complain about the cost of food, but are unwilling to change their eating/cooking habits to more homemade inexpensive and less processed expensive foods. Homemade does not mean opening a can and adding rice. Or a box then adding ground meat. I’m guilty of this sometimes, but it’s an exception rather than a daily meal. It’s amazing some of our tenants complain about food costs but when you examine their garbage you find expensive, pre-processed boxes and cans that are easy to make truely homemade. They simply don’t know what homemade really means. Many times we find the staples like rice, dry beans, and flour are left behind almost unused.

    • I get recipes from friends for “homemade” desserts that use cake mixes and canned fruit – things I never have!

  2. Magdalena,

    This is a fantastic post. We were discussing this at uni earlier this week. I was the one to raise my head above the parapet :-0 🙂 and received some interesting responses. Upon mentioning that, with the obesity epidemic sweeping the anglosphere in particular (and pointing squarely to my own excess kg’s), a traditional old-time Lentan fast presents us with the opportunity to sweep the broom through, so to speak, and exercise moderation for the benefit of our health and the other reasons you’ve mentioned, they grew most thoughtful indeed.

    It is so easy for us to ‘feed the beast’ whenever the craving strikes… moderation is not part of our common Anglosphere language (speaking of ‘our in terms of whole of society in general’). Hubby isn’t fasting, so there’ll need to be some modifications, but he’ll manage – he got through Advent 🙂 and the home bakery is closed except for bread until after Easter, though he’s looking forward to hot cross buns on Good Friday and I’ll not disappoint. (I personally find them too rich for my own liking, anyway, so he’s got the run of the mill).

    I love reading your crofting and fasting posts!! We’ve just put in our new Silverbeet seeds, carrots, parsnips and beetroot. Garlic goes in on ANZAC day (25 April) here, and will be ready by Christmas. (remember, readers, down here, our seasons are opposite to the North with our year a two summered affair, with winter, or what passes for it, in July). On a sidenote, early in Australia’s Anglo settlement, the suggestion was made to re-orient the feasts to better reflect the new Southern hemisphere reality the new colonists found themselves in. This was soundly knocked on the head as verging on herretical and never saw the light of day. In much of Australia, even deliniated four season cycles are not an event; Sydney’s climate can be broken down into six or seven distinct shorter periods. The classic four seasons only occur at altitude and/or deep latitude but even so, they’re not as extreme as for instance, a Northern European, American or Asian winter even if snow does fall…

    We Southern hemisphere folk technically should have an altered liturgical year Christmas around 25 June and Easter somewhere between September and October… :- Is this too barking mad for consideration?? )

    Ah well…

    • Easter stays where it is because it is counted by new moons in the Jewish calendar; you can have Christmas any old time you want, as we don’t really know when Jesus was born.

      We are still under snow here!

      I wondered what you were doing, haven’t heard from you in a while, and planned to give you an email line soon!

  3. Magdalena,

    I dropped you an email around a month ago now, but could have been eaten by my email provider en route from Aus to Canada…Ah snow!! Oh if only!! We’ve been baking under one of the hottest summers on record; Queensland has been systematically flooded or blown down by cyclone over the summer period, Victoria has flooded, Western Australia has experienced horrid heatwaves, no rain and bushfires… Right about now, the fantasy of snow sounds delectable!!

    Didn’t give a thought to the Easter dating background. Study is driving me bonkers already and its only the end of week 2, semester 1!! I’m completing my major in Christian Thought (the Trinity) and one of my minors this semester (Biblical Studies) (they’re going on about the virgin birth of Christ etc…that ‘young woman’ was used in Isiah, and not ‘Virgin’ blah blah blah…thankfully my major subject, Trinity, is somewhat saner… I’ve got to zip it; had a go at my lecturer about the leftist nature of scholarship they always seem to favour, which, to me, seems to indicate everything else is considered ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘literalist’… ah well… I’ve still got to learn the leson of ‘be wise as serpents and gentle as doves’… hmm… I sent said lecturer an appology and felt like a tool after considering what I stated…Whats a gal to do so she doesn’t get the entire theology department off side??

    This is my fourth year; got two more after this (50% workload; the transcribers and brailists would go mad if I upped the subject quota, as would I, and by extention, my husband…) I’m starting to hit the wall but don’t want to walk away after so much work and a genuine love for the field.

    Peace and blessings,

    Sarah.

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