Lenten season is upon us and we live in a society where following the Lenten requirements of our faith and fasting are not in fashion and are not encouraged. Neither the TV, nor the newspapers will encourage you to to fast during this season. The most they may do, is to report on the Ash Wednesday, and the Holy Week, culminating with Easter (i.e. the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ). What can you do, if you don’t have the strong will to fast during the 40 days of Lent.
There are various levels of fasting. The earliest Church fasts severely restricted all foods, but this gradually eased. Pope Gregory the Great wrote that “We abstain from flesh meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese, and eggs.” Different churches have different strictness of fasting, which they recommend their constituents to follow. You can find out about the requirements by talking to your pastor. Fasting is crucial in Christian life because it brings you to the frontiers of dispassion. What to do, if you are just starting and do not have the necessary willpower to follow the strictness of fasting recommended by your church.
Be Faithful in Little
Remember this statement from our Lord Jesus. He said “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10). If you lack the willpower to give up certain foods for the sake of strengthening your spiritual life, try to give up only one type of food or one type of bad habit that you can handle.
Look at it this way. You probably cannot lift 200 pounds of weight. But can you lift 2 pounds. Start exercising and in a week you can lift 3 pounds. In few weeks you will probably lift 5 pounds and increase it even more if you exercise day by day. As a result, one day you may exceed the 200 pound boundary and lift even more.
Therefore, if you cannot give up alcohol, meat, cheese, eggs, butter and sour cream, try to give up only one of them. Or try to give up only one type of food. Let’s say, give up chocolates during the Lenten period. Or, give up drinking Coca-Cola or other types of sugar drinks during Lent.
Take Action For Your Faith
Strive to do something for your faith, for the Love of God. Let your heavenly Father see that you are trying. If you like drinking sugar drinks, say to the Lord and to you, “I will not drink any sugar drinks until we celebrate the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord on Easter. Or, if you like chocolates, say I will not eat any chocolates until we celebrate the feast of the Resurrection of our Lord on Easter. Instead, study the Word of God daily, read the Gospels, pray more and let our heavenly Father see the effort you are trying to make.
When the Lord sees that you are striving to be faithful in little things, he will “put you in charge of many things” (Matt. 25:21) and give you the grace (ability) so you can be faithful in more things.