As the fast approaches I always have a hopeless feeling. I admit I don’t like fasting. Not at all. It’s not that I don’t see the use of it, the good it does or the purpose of it, I just don’t like to do it. I know there are a lot of people who genuinely like fasting. I’m not one of them. Plus, I am not a cook – I don’t enjoy cooking pretty much at all. When I cook for my family it is honestly a gesture of love because I’d rather be cleaning the bathroom. (Not that I don’t grumble sometimes – I’m not a saint.) When you add in having to come up with fasting menus I feel all done in. I would be happy to never actually have to think about the process of preparing food. So with all of this, as the fast nears I just want to run away.
Something I forget – and I have forgotten it every single year for the past 14 years now – is that at the last minute I will somehow be given the grace to endure the fast. Sometime between dawn on Forgiveness Sunday and the end of Forgiveness Vespers I realize that I can do the fast and it’s not so horrible after all. I actually feel an eagerness to run the race. I am attributing this completely to God’s grace because of all I mentioned above. Those feelings clearly don’t come from me.
I won’t be posting about fasting during the fast. (I may post a fasting recipe if I come across something I’d like to share.) I’m not going to talk about my own fasting rule and I’m not interested in knowing anyone else’s. This is one of those weird circumstances where we move through Lent together – it’s hard to do this alone – but at the same time our rules are our own. This is between my spiritual father and me and there is nothing to be gained (and a lot to lose) by discussing it.
That said, however, I will wish each of you a blessed Lent and the grace to run the race. Let us move together toward Pascha when we will sing “Christ is risen!”