Posted by: cmittermeier | November 21, 2011

Called to Fast

I cannot transform myself on my own, I am not master of myself.  Even if I were to be so prideful to think I am, last weeks violent attack of vertigo is more than enough evidence to say I am not in charge.  There is a line between what we can control and what we cannot, and I often want to put that line further away from me as it gives me less guilt when I can say its out of my control.  I want to bring that line in closer, I want to have more control over my gluttony, my health, so I prayed knowing the limitations I put on myself.

Guess what I got?

I misread a tv schedule and when I went to see a program on mothering I was startled to find “Word on Fire” starting up.  What?  Missed the mothering program yet again?  Am I just not supposed to watch that thing?  Then the priest starts talking, “Today I’d like to go over the last two deadly sins from Dante’s inferno, GLUTTONY and lust”.  Oh.  Oops.  Just lemme check, yup, my Mothering program comes on after this, phew, I’m not going to miss it… this was a bonus not a substitute.

So he begins and in my head I review the little desserts I let myself have this weekend.  I review my indulgences of late, after all I was sick.  I fight with myself wanting to push that line further away from me.  St. Augustine’s words, “Lord make me chaste, but not just yet” fly through my mind as does the scene from CS Lewis when the man does not want to rid himself of the demon on his shoulder… As the priest continues I make the painful choice and prayerfully scream as the man eventually did, “KILL IT”.

What should you do to get rid of gluttony?  FAST.

His words burned inside, it was as if they were spoken only to me.  Fast.  Break the hold it has on you.  Its not enough to refuse food when its easy, I need to be able to do it when it hurts… when the emotional high of satisfying my taste buds promise something more  – that is when I need to be able to say NO.  Not when i am strong, but when I am weak.  I need to build those muscles.  There was a time when we regularly, as Catholics that is, pushed past spiritual dryness by physically pushing past our bodily desires.  We used to fast regularly, abstain from meat, pass up things as mortification.  Presently you can’t get more counter-cultural.  Gratification is paramount.

Called to Fast.

Advent is a time of preparing ourselves for His coming, for the first time I have to put preparing my body in that list.  Lent, with its well know austerity is a much easier time to do this… but Advent is filled with Christmas parties, dinner dances, FOOD… and yet I am called to fast.



  1. Happy Thanksgiving. Let me know when you start your Fast maybe we can do it together because I was thinking the exact same thing. A CALL TO FAST. Bridgette

    • I’m using this week to go over the details of it, officially it starts Sunday. I’m not using this week as the pig before starve, that’ll just make it harder, I’m trying a few things out. This is going to be hard.

      Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!

  2. I’ll check back with you on Sunday.. Bridgette
    …again Happy Thanksgiving

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