Try A Different Approach To Fasting This Lent


Lenten fasts have a tendency to be oriented toward “giving up” things like food, television or coffee – and this is a good thing. But there are many other creative ways we can welcome Jesus’ healing touch into our lives this Lent.  Here are some suggestions you may want to consider…


  • Fast from anger and hatred. Give your family members an extra dose of love and attention each day. Pray seven Glory Be’s each day in honor of the Blessed Trinity for the specific intention of growing in the virtue of Charity. 1 Peter 2:1 tells us:  “Strip away everything vicious, everything deceitful; pretenses, jealousies, envy, slander and disparaging remarks of any kind.”


  • Fast from judging others. Before making subjective judgments about others or situations (we have the right to judge objectively, of course), recall how Jesus overlooks our own faults and constantly welcomes us back with His Divine Mercy – God’s greatest attribute. Luke 6:37 states:  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”


  • Fast from discouragement. Hold on to God’s promise that He has a perfect plan for your life and pray for an increase of “Hope” – one of the Three Theological Virtues (along with Faith and Charity). In Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord God tells us, “For I know well the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”


  • Fast from complaining. When you find yourself about to complain about something – especially to the point that it will disrupt your personal peace – close your eyes, take a deep breath, and recall some of the little and larger moments of joy that Jesus has given you throughout your life. 3 John 11 states:  “Do not imitate an evil example, but follow what is good.  Whoever does what is good is of God.”  And Philippians 4:4-5 states:  “Rejoice in the Lord always!  I say it again:  Rejoice!  Everyone should see how unselfish you are.”  We should note well, too, that both Lent and Advent give us a “Rejoice!” Sunday – Laetare Sunday and Gaudete Sunday, respectively.  So, Our Lord and His Bride the Church must want us to put some emphasis on “Hope” in our lives!


  • Fast from resentment, bitterness, fighting and/or quarreling. Work on forgiving those who may have hurt you in the past – whoever they may have been: family, friend, or stranger.      Romans 13:13-14 states:  “Let us live honorably as in daylight; not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual excess and lust, not in quarreling and jealousy.  Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”


  • Fast from spending too much money. Try to reduce your overall spending – especially on frivolous things – and give these financial savings to the poor. Proverbs 19:17 teaches us:  “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward them for what they have done.”


Adapted From:  The Word Among Us, Vol. 21, No. 3 (