Last year I wrote that fasting is one of the hardest spiritual practices for me because I like food. As an alternative, I suggested what Pope Francis had outlined in a recent article. As I wrote earlier, I’d like to fast from advertising which is rather pollyannic since advertising is so pervasive in my social and economic circle. Besides, the point of fasting in Lent is to identify ways that we are pulled from God and then do something that brings us to a closer relationship with our Creator. Advertising pulls me away from communion with God by replacing that relationship with things/desires/tastes; it also pulls me away from loving my neighbor by creating competition with what they have compared to what I have. As previously noted, I do feel superior to others when I carry around a Starbucks coffee. However, I noticed that when I carry around my reusable shiny metal Starbucks 20-ounce container, I still feel loftier than those who do not have one. Last week, while in line at a Starbucks with a parishioner, I couldn’t help but feel better than the people who were using landfill cups. I’m sorry about it; but it’s true. As such, I am going to avoid going to Starbucks for 40 days and 40 nights and I will put duct tape over the symbol to see if that does the trick. Also, I am going to start writing about what it’s like to buy nothing new until Easter. Look for it on my Facebook page.
In the tradition that Pope Francis wrote his list (Fast from hurting words – say kind words; Fast from sadness – be filled with gratitude; Fast from pessimism – be filled with hope), here is my 2018 list.
Fast from desire – God provides everything.
Fast from the easiness of fast food – It took God 7 days to create.
Fast from disquiet about politics – God is in charge of everything.
Fast from the lure of selfishness – Jesus became like a servant to set us free.
Fast from thinking better about myself – God knows the heart of everyone.
Fast from the thrill of Starbucks – Remember Jesus was in the desert for 40 days.
Fast from obsessing about the news – God has the whole world in his hands.
Fast from wanting more – pray for people who have less; much, much less.
Come to think of it, I should fast from these things for an entire year, not just Lent.
- Fr. Dave