The practice of fasting from food can lead a person to spiritual freedom and peace.
However, if we are able to stay faithful to a regimen of fasting (especially during Lent), the spiritual benefits are profound. In fact, you can experience a freedom you never thought possible.
One of the main reasons why fasting leads to freedom is because often we are “enslaved” to food, whether we realize it or not. Certain foods can have power over us and if we aren’t careful, we can end up indulging in habits of eating that endanger our health as well as our spiritual wellbeing.
On the other hand, when we fast from particular foods (like sweets, for example), we take control over the situation and develop the ability to say, “No!” That is a powerful ability that fasting can unlock for us, leading to a freedom we may have never experienced.
Fr. Richard Simon affirmed on one of his shows for Relevant Radio this spiritual principle.
Fasting is an exercise in freedom … The purpose of it is to train your will to do God’s will. To train your will to obey the Lord. Freedom is the absolute requirement for the Christian life. And most people think that freedom is getting what they want, but they don’t understand that they don’t want what they want, it is their passions controlling them … Fasting is to dispose you to do God’s will … the purpose of a fast is to make you able to say no to yourself and yes to what the Lord wants. It’s an exercise in freedom.
Spiritual writer Thomas Kempis similarly wrote about how Jesus wants us to be free to accept his will and to do that, we need to deny ourselves on occasion.
Let this be your whole endeavor, this your prayer, this your desire; that you may be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only; may die to yourself, and live eternally to [Christ] … Forsake yourself, resign yourself, and-you shall enjoy much inward peace.
When considering a fast, keep in mind this benefit of freedom and how denying ourselves certain foods can bring about a spiritual peace that endures. Instead of being ruled by the refrigerator, we are in control and experience true freedom over our senses.
Support Aleteia takes a minute
If you’re reading this article, it’s precisely thanks to your generosity and to that of many other people like you that make possible the evangelization project of Aleteia. Here some numbers:
- 20 million of users around the world read Aleteia.org every month.
- Aleteia is published daily in eight languages: French, English, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Slovenian.
- Each month, our readers view more than 50 million pages.
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia’s social media pages.
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos.
- All of this work is carried out by 60 people working full-time and approximately 400 other collaborators (writers, journalists, translators, photographers…).
As you can imagine, behind these numbers there is a big effort. We need your support so we can keep offering this service of evangelization to everyone, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.
Support Aleteia from as little as $1 – and only takes a minute. Thank you!