TREASURES FROM OUR TRADITION
Fasting may be a priority in your Lenten spring?cleaning regimen. Almost every religious tradition recognizes that fasting is a key to heightened spiritual awareness. You know this from your own experience. When you are engaged in a hobby, painting a room, keeping vigil near a delivery room, or standing watch at a sickbed, you may simply forget to eat. What you are doing so fills you that the intensity of the action is itself nourishing. In fasting from food, or drink, or habitual behaviors, you make room for what is truly important.
Even though Lenten Sundays stand apart from the Lenten fast, you will notice traces of fasting in our liturgy. We fast from singing the Gloria and Alleluia, we fast from flowers bedecking the altar, and there may be a noticeable drop in the number of infant baptisms as parents elect to wait until Easter. This hints that fasting is a prelude to feasting, and the vigor of our Easter alleluias is rich fare after a long silence. In the same way, even a small fast—no cream in the coffee, no pepper in the soup, no radio in the car—can not only point to deeper hungers, but help us rejoice more fully in the feast when we break our fast together.