Thursday, March 17, 2011

To conclude our exploration of the benefit of fasting, especially in concern to how it attacks our sins and instills us with both good graces and morals, let us explore the final three cardinal sins.

Wrath: This sin, more commonly known simply as anger, is perhaps the most indirectly affected by fasting. By that I mean that it is not always the easiest to see. Especially because sometimes, when we fast, our hunger actually makes us more irritable as well as irritating. However, though we not notice it, our fasting also makes us more inclined to empathy. When we fast, we humble ourselves, and in humbling ourselves we can come to see others for what they are intrinsically rather than what they are in comparison to us. So, though this is not always the case, there are times when, during fasting, we can come to withhold our rage from others because we understand them better. When some one does something to annoy us, we are able to see that they did not mean to do it and that, consequently, we too can be quite annoying ourselves. Fasting attacks anger by humbling us and bringing us to empathy.

Envy: In the case of sins of envy, it is particularly interesting. Envy is the sin in which we are jealous of another person’s good(s). However, envy is not necessarily jealousy. Jealousy is not always a sin; wanting something that some one else has is not bad. If some one has a car that I find appealing, it is not wrong for me to want that same car. However, it is wrong for me to want that car so much that I become spiteful towards the person who owns the car simply because of his ownership of said car. Instead of jealousy which says, “I would like to have a car like that,” envy goes farther than jealousy by saying, “I want that person’s car and I don’t want him to have it.” Fasting attacks envy because, when we make sacrifices, we come to see how full our lives truly are. By emptying ourselves of our own material goods and desires, we can see how much we truly have and how little we really need from the material world. Thus, envy becomes practically non-existent while fasting. Of course, this is not always the case. One must be fasting properly and have an appropriate spiritual mindset during the fast as well. But such is the case with all things if not properly done. So, fasting has a specific attack on envy by way of surrendering material goods and, in return, being able to purge one’s disordered material desires.

Pride: Ah! Here we are. The root of all sins. As mentioned previously in above posts, fasting attacks pride specifically by granting humility. By fasting and recognizing that we can do without a specific good, we recognize also that we are not so superior as to demand what we want and get it when we want it. Humility calls for sacrifice, and that is exactly what we are given through fasting. So, it should be simple enough to understand how fasting can attack our pride and instill in us an appropriate humility.

If you stuck with me through all that, I am very proud of you (and more importantly, your attention span.) I hope you earned something out of it, and maybe even learned something.

As always, God Bless you, and may His graces fill you with the love to go above the norm!

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