Feb 19, 2024: Purpose of Fasting

Robert E. Webber

Lent is the time to identify a power working against us and crucify it with Christ and bury it in the tomb, never to be raised again. . . . [Fasting] controls the passion for food in order to deal with a passion of another sort that holds us in its grip. The purpose of the ascetical fast is to liberate us from the power that flesh holds over the spirit. . . . For example, a person may fast as a means to experience victory over jealousy, envy, anger, lust, lack of integrity. . . . God works in conjunction with our will. Consequently, the ascetical fast that deals with an issue of character development requires choice and intention on our part. We have to exercise the power of our own will over against the powers of evil that continually draw us into habits of life that are contrary to the gospel. — Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 114-115.

About the author

Alumni Director, Practicum Professor, and DWS graduate.