I have never successfully fasted apart from the liturgical calendar’s mandatory fasts.
But I have a big petition. Something I must get right.
Mother Mary, it is in your hands. You always take care of my petitions with such love. Even as I give the petition to Mary, I know there is something rightly-ordered about being ready to give up something for my petition.
Something that takes it from, “Here, Mary, take care of this for me” to “Thank you, Blessed Mother, for taking my petition, which I have offered with love by way of prayer and fasting”–and what a journey it has become!
The first day, I kept thinking it was time to eat. I saw every Facebook video depicting how-to clips for desserts, and my mind wanted to pause and watch. I was too weak-in-spirit. It was all too tempting. So I scrolled up or down as fast as I could.
Then, it was easier.
And the intimacy with Christ was sharper, clearer, set apart.
Over the weekend, I traveled to Iowa and gave a talk to a Magnificat group. Before the fasting began, I decided to fast from solid foods except when a meal was part of fellowship in the line of duty. For me, that is when I speak or travel for the Gospel message.
Those few moments were precious. The people I broke bread with were precious. The whole of it–precious.
But my first day back to the deep fast was hard.
Like the Enemy was nipping at my heels.
I don’t know if I can do this for a month. I want to.
I want to say that I would offer everything for God’s holy will. I want to say that He has all of me. That I am completely fixed on giving Him my total yes.
Fasting has a way of testing that resolve. It has a way of clearing through good intentions and getting to the heart of the question:
“Are you sure about that?”
It is only day eight.
I think I’m sure.
I want to be sure.
So, I give you today, too. Help me to be faithful, My Lord and my God!