Fasting During Advent?

An excerpt from Good Dirt: Advent, Christmastide and Epiphany

 Fasting during the Holiday Season? Yes! Fasting has been used as a tool for thousands of years to help us listen. By turning off other things we open our hearts and minds to God who longs to whisper his great love to those who will listen. There are many ways and many things that we can fast to prepare for the Royal Baby.

This time of year strikes fear in the minds of all parents who have the foresight to consider all the sugar their children are about to ingest. As a family, save all sweets for Sunday. Sundays are traditionally celebration days, even during a time of fasting. Every Sunday we celebrate the resurrection—and what better way to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” than by saving the sweets for Sunday? Remember we are moving “counter-clockwise” to our culture. Here in the season of  Advent, we actively wait.

 Fast from media, when all family members are together. Evenings are usually the best time for most families. You can replace usual TV time with a Seasonal Fun activity, a family game, or read together. Try The Story of The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke.

Two Saturdays during Advent eat rice and beans only. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Discuss what it must be like to have this every day. Decide as a family on a charity you would like to work with during the Holidays.

Give up your gifts. Fast from giving gifts to each other this year. In-stead, use the money to buy gifts for a family in your community who has very little. Plan a covert operation to drop off the gifts without being caught. Spend all four weeks of Advent planning.

A few last words from Augustine

“In his fasting, therefore, let a man rejoice inwardly in the very fact that by this fasting he is turning away from the pleasures of the world to make himself subject to Christ, who in the words of this precept wants him to have his head anointed. With the same intent he will be washing his face, that is, cleansing his heart whereby he is to see God, with no veil intervening because of a beclouding infirmity- firm and unshaken because he is clean and upright. ”

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