Saturday, March 5, 2016
The purpose of fasting or dieting for monks who lived in the desert was to become more loving. Self-denial for it own sake was a waste of time. All their attempts to discipline themselves was to become more loving persons. So it was not about punishing themselves for their sins, or "offering it up" to get time off from purgatory, or to negotiate something with God. It was all about love. So I ask myself why do I run, or watch what I eat, or cut out sugar? Is it for love? Well, no. It is for more self-focused or ego reasons. If you diet, why? I think I will try to have love as the goal. If I say no to some food will it make me less selfish, less concerned about my own comforts? If it makes me crabby, short-tempered or whinny, I guess I still will have a ways to go to become more loving. But then maybe the desert monks had the same experience. They fasted. They got cranky. They reflected upon their silliness, and then they began to be more concerned about others. I see some Godiva chocolate in my room. Hmmm.