Kelsey, Foster: Fasting
“Fasting can be to the body what silence is to the mind and soul,” Morton Kelsey, Companions of the Inner Way, The Art of Spiritual Guidance, p 119.
I am helped by the words of Richard Foster on fasting in his now classic book, Celebration of Discipline. Fasting from food or any other ways of living helps us become aware of what is controlling us and the degree that it is controlling us. This is of course the traditional call of Lent, “to give up something,” a fast from something.
A fast should be a spiritual discipline to connect more closely to God as are all the other disciplines. As we crave the substance or action, we can enter into the suffering of Christ and of others. Goodness knows, why in the world should we identify with more suffering? It is already present in our minds and in our bodies. For myself, however, when I attempt to fast from food or a certain type of food or from an action such as shopping or work, it is helpful to keep reminding myself that this is in an attempt to hear and see and find more time for God in my life. It can be a re-centering of what is important.
Fasting can especially be an important discipline to investigate how food or an action or a behavior pattern has become too important in our lives.