الرئيسية / English / Why Fast During Lent?

Why Fast During Lent?

Fr. Simon Esshaki

As we enter into the season of Lent, it is important for us to understand why we fast so that when we fast during Lent, it is not just something we do that is a habit we’ve done over the past years, and something that we’re going to do again this year; the point is to understand that our fasting has a purpose. The purpose of our fasting is to put away our sins and to grow closer to Christ. We fast so that we can imitate Christ. Jesus himself went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights before he started his public ministry and he fasted before he was tempted by the devil. During the season of Lent we enter into the desert with Jesus; we go into the wilderness with him and we fast during our fight against evil. We are always fighting evil and we are always fighting so that we can grow closer to Christ. Jesus fasted from all food and water. We don't have to do that, but what we do during Lent is we pick a few things that we desire and we give them up. For example, certain types of food or drink, like chocolate, meat, dairy, snacks, candy or anything else. We should pick things that we desire, and it does not only have to be food. We can also fast from other things that we desire, from things that we do on a daily basis, things that we can live without, like social media, watching TV, listening to music, or anything else like that. The point of giving up something that we desire is so that we can become masters of ourselves, so that we cannot be controlled by anything. If we deny ourselves some things that we desire that are not necessarily bad, we can have built the courage and the strength to deny ourselves some things that we desire that are actually bad like our sins and temptations. That is why during Lent the first things to give up should not just be things like some foods that we desire or simple things we do; the first things we should give up are the sinful habits that we have. We should all think of the sinful habits that we have – the things that we do on a daily basis or the things that we simply struggle with, and we should give those up. We should give those up so that we can put away our sins and take a step closer to God, because this is the fight against evil; this is the fight against the devil and against temptation. For Lent, we should give up our sins and we should also give up certain things that we desire so that we can end of controlling ourselves. But we should not only give something up, we should also add things to our spiritual life. For example, we can make sure that we're praying every day, we can add things like reading the Bible every day if we don't, we can make sure we go to Mass every Sunday, pray the Rosary, doing things so that we cannot only give up things but also adding things so that we can have the strength to grow closer to God. We enter into the desert with Jesus because we imitate him. Jesus prayed—he was in unity with his Father. My friends, we should take the season of Lent to unite with the rest of the Church. The whole Catholic Church is going to be fasting for the salvation of our souls. We fast so that we can grow closer to God, so we should fast for that purpose. We should also fast, in the Chaldean Church for peace in the world. Our Patriarch in the Chaldean Catholic Church, Mar Louis Raphael Sako, has called us to fast during the season of Lent for peace in the world. Our people in Iraq are suffering greatly, and there are people suffering throughout the whole world because this world lacks peace. We can only have peace with Jesus Christ, and the peace of Jesus Christ, if it is going to go to the rest of the world has to start with us. Let us take this as an opportunity to have the peace of Christ in our hearts as we put away our sins and as we focus on him, so that we can enter into the wilderness with him and go with him in his suffering, so that we can rejoice with him in his glory, in the Resurrection. I wish you all a blessed season of Lent. May God bless you and may he guide you closer to him every day of your lives

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الشماس د. كوركيس مردو  هناك سؤالٌ صعبٌ يتبادرُ الى أذهان الناس في أيامِنا هذه مفاده: …

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