Monday, March 14, 2011

Why do we Fast: v. 3.0

Again we resume our exploration of the importance for fasting during lent, particularly how fasting attacks the seven capital sins.

Avarice: More commonly known as greed, this sin is attacked by fasting much in the same way that lust is. Lust is usually more commonly directed towards sins of the flesh (a.k.a. sexual sins. Sorry if I didn’t specify earlier.) Avarice is more commonly directed towards material goods. And just like fasting attacks lust, fasting diminishes our idea of having what we want because we realize we are not so great as we think, and we do not truly deserve it. Fasting also reminds us that we can live without this good, because with all greed, it is a good that is not essential or necessary to our lives. And, once again, it is genuinely difficult to want anything other than the object from which you’re fasting.

Sloth: This is one area of fasting that many people often forget. It is encouraged, especially during Lent, not only to fast from one thing, but to be more active in another. A good example would be that one might fast from television in order to spend more time praying. By doing something extra, something that you would not ordinarily do, fasting attacks sloth and laziness. You are doing something productive with your time rather than lying around doing nothing. In Dante’s Inferno, the lazy and sullen are plunged within the river Styx, where they can find no joy and they cannot move because they are constantly drowning. Though this sounds like a terrible punishment, we often forget that we punish ourselves in this same way when we are lazy. Fasting attacks our laziness by forcing us to fill our time with more productive and wholesome action.

The final three shall be explored next.

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