Sunday, August 3, 2008


A gastronomical feast waiting for housewarming guests

The first Sunday of the month in our church is called "Fast Sunday." Those who are medically able go without food or drink for 24 hours and then give the money they would have used on that food and drink as an offering. These funds are distributed by bishops around the world to feed the hungry and provide for those who are needy. They are separate from tithing funds which pay for the buildings and temples and the "bills" to run the church itself. Fast offerings are specifically earmarked to go to those in need.

I learned about this system when I was a small child. I think it makes great sense. It is a very practical way to provide for those who are unable to provide for themselves. And each month I have done my part fasting and donating to help those in need. 

Other times in my life I have fasted for a different purpose. I have traded my gastronomical feasting for spiritual feasting. I have fasted to draw closer to the Lord and gain spiritual strength and understanding. I am not sure how the laws of science would explain the effects of fasting. But fasting does have a positive spiritually empowering effect on me. 

Coupling the fasting with scripture study and prayer fills the soul with a well appreciated spiritual feast. The spiritual hunger pains are satisfied and new understanding and enlightenment can grow. 

A very few times in my life I have felt I was losing it. I am not sure what "it" is but I have been close to losing "it" a few times. Those times I have fasted long and hard with a spirit seeking the strength to survive. Each time I have found what I sought. Recently, I have been fasting ... more frequently.

There is something about depriving your physical self of something it greatly wants that strengthens the spirit within. It is a ceding of control to the spiritual rather than the physical.

I love the strength I feel towards the end of my fast when I have overcome the hunger pains and feel totally in control of my own being. I feel as if I can overcome the sorrow. I feel as if the pain in my chest will subside just as the hunger pains did. I feel closer to the Lord and more receptive to His love and His teachings. I feel closer to my sweet Camille. I feel strong. I feel clean. I feel ... happy.