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Dr Denton on Lent: Fast, Fluid, and Perfect for Touch

St Escriva was fond of saying the happiness of heaven is reserved for those who learn to be happy on earth.

When we fast, we live largely on fluids. In doing so we are given the cleansing, perfect touch of God. In our separation from the consumable bounties of this world we are given insights into living in the the New World which comes to us through faith. Our eyes are opened to a new experience of freedom; the true freedom that comes to us through knowing Jesus Christ. The emptiness we feel is a sign of the longing which He alone can fill.


PORTSMOUTH, VA (Catholic Online) - Fast, Fluid, and Perfect for Touch...

That's what popped up on my computer screen this morning as I prepared to write an article on Fasting during Lent.

The touch screen on my computer was actually promoting fast, fluid, and perfect touch. In a sense, I realized that I am promoting the same thing.

When we fast, we live largely on fluids. In doing so we are given the cleansing, perfect touch of God. In our separation from the consumable bounties of this world we are given insights into living in the the New World which comes to us through faith.

Our eyes are opened to a new experience of freedom; the true freedom that comes to us through knowing Jesus Christ. The emptiness we feel is a sign of the longing which He alone can fill.

This week I weighed in at 196 lbs and that's not fast enough for me! So this week, the week I long for each year,the beginning of Lent. I will begin a fast.

Really Dr D?

"Please Dr D, you are not going down the "I am going to fast" road of sacrifice talk, only to tell us how this is going to help you lose weight are you? Great writers over the centuries have spoken about the self centered narcissism contained in that approach!"

Yes I am

But for the moment, let's take a broad brush stroke approach to the whole subject. In order to understand my calim please remember that I talking about the whole person, body, soul, and spirit. We are temples of the Spirit, and it's ok to use the gifts given to us to make that temple clean, beautiful, and thus more fit for the Spirit to dwell more fully within. We are integrated human persons.

I am speaking of taking the gift of fasting, practicing it, and then letting the whole person be blessed through reaping its many effects, spiritual and physical. The body loses weight and cleanses, the soul/mind becomes cleared of that chemically induced food fog, and our spirit is jumping for joy as we come closer and one with God.

We fast in order to rid ourselves of those things that separate us from the Lord. We fast in order to find peace and joy in a new way of living more simply. In our fasting, we find ourseleves being made new and, yes, that actually makes us happy. 

St Escriva was fond of saying the happiness of heaven is reserved for those who learn to be happy on earth.

When I fast, I try to remove from my life a crutch or an excuse I have been using to comfort me. For example, I fast by giving up the bowl of cereal at 10:00 pm, the 2nd or 3rd glass of wine during dinner, the 4th cup of coffee.

I fast in order to find joy and happiness in walking away from the food and drink of this world - that in themselves can be good - but which I have made a crutch and substituted for what I really need. I quiet walk with Jesus Christ throughout the season called Lent. It becomes a moment of prayer with my Lord. In that time of communion with Him I find the comfort of God instead of the comfort of food and I get happier.

Over the past 3 weeks have written about Hara Hachi Bu (stop eating when you are 75-80% full), walking like St Francis and finding the beauty of Christ in the moment, drinking more water and now Bringing all three together in Fasting.

Fasting = Less food, more water, and finding Christ in the quiet of our self emptying. He fills us with His presence. Fast on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Some simple suggestions to help with fasting:

In the morning, drink a blend of frozen berries and water.

Add some chia seeds to the morning drink, or salads, and breads during the day. The seeds absorb water and help to make the body less hungry.

The ancient runners of the Americas use to eat these seeds and drink water before they ran extreme distances. We now know the seeds absorb the water and make a jelly substance that will slowly release the water back into our bodies as we need fluids.

The chia seeds also are a great source of fiber and great for colon health.

Remember at the evening meal to drink water prior to eating. By evening the body will be adjusting to the fast but the brain will want to over eat.

Listen, we've been training our brains to eat a heavy meal in the evening for a year. Now we have to break the cycle and limit our intake during the day and night. If you fail don't quit trying and get depressed. Just keep limiting you daily intake until Wed and Friday fasts are easy.

My computer screen said fast, fluid, and perfect touch this morning. I completely agree!

May you be blessed this Lenten Season with the Beautiful Joy filled Touch of God's loving, healing Hand.

P.S. I hope you had some King cake on Tuesday.

In Christ's Love
Dr Denton
-----

Dr Denton D. Weiss, M.D. is board certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Weiss' approach to his medical practice flows from his convictions about the meaning of life which are deeply rooted in his Catholic Faith. He and his wife, Michelle strive for an integrated approach to life which recognizes the unity of the body, mind and soul. They call this approach "Bella Vitae" or "Beautiful Living". He, and Michelle, are contributing writers to Catholic Online.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.

Keywords: Fast, fasting, Lent, freedom, happiness, diet, beauty, beautiful living, St Josemaria Escriva, Dr Denton D Weiss



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1 - 4 of 4 Comments

  1. Pat Browning
    1 year ago

    I believed traditional fasting in both Catholic and Protestent Christian Churches began at dawn and ended at sunset. Small meals being eaten right before dawn and right after sunset with lots of prayer in between (man does not eat by bread alone...). Exceptions being made as referenced in Canon law for nursing mothers, the ill, etc. Is there a structured rule for fasting?

    I also did not realize Wednesdays were fast days, thanks for explaining this. Finally, I remember growing up not eating meat on Fridays and then being allowed to do so at some point in time except during Lent. Reading through some of todays articles, it still sounds like we as Catholics should continue this tradition even though we live in the United States - more a comment than a question I guess.

    Finally, when my wife converted to the Catholic faith (I attended too, to complete my Confirmation - great learning experience for 'Cradle Catholics') we were told that Sundays were celebrations and that we could indulge in whatever we gave up for Lent. That was about 17 years ago. Could you please clarify this for me.

    Thanks
    Pat

  2. Philip
    1 year ago

    Maria, I agree we should turn our attention to Christ who suffered for us when we fast. I think Dr. Denton was saying this, that as he fasts he prays, but he wasn't so emphatic about using our hunger feelings to remind us to turn to prayer. There are many ways to fast, I suppose, from not eating at all to omitting some item(s) from one's diet. It does seem the church is letting us off easy these days with a rather loose definition of a fast, but one if free to be more strict if one chooses. I'm planning to fast from meat throughout Lent, eating mostly beans and rice instead. I need to remember that the most important reason for doing this is to prompt myself to turn to God in prayer more often.

  3. A
    1 year ago

    This Lenten post might interest you.
    http://ethiopianchurchdotorg.blogspot.com/2009/03/lent-as-way-of-life.html

  4. Maria
    1 year ago

    After reading this comment, I find that I have to say that eating chia seeds is more comparable to taking a diet pill 30 minutes before a meal. This is not true fasting. One should fast on water alone and a piece of plain bread for all three meals and do without the extra foods such as salad and/or chia seeds. This form of fasting truly makes one hunger and not only for food but for Christ. It frees the mind of all the junk food and high protein overload. I am only suggesting this for one that is physically able to do so and when your tummy signals to your brain that you are truly hungry and you become slightly irritated due to the hunger, then we embrace that hunger and turn our mind to Jesus Christ. It is also a form of penance and suffering. This is a true form of fasting and abstinence which is what one should do during Lent, especially we as Catholics.

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