During Lent, we practice fasting and austerity in our daily life. Some skip one meal a day. Still, some refrain from eating meat. Others keep themselves from daily indulgence and entertainment.
The effort is for our reflection on how Jesus fasted forty days and nights in the wilderness and more on his suffering during the days toward the Crucifixion.
Among them, Black Fast is one of the traditional forms of fasting. It is a form of fasting that we have one meal a day. Usually, people observe it on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Having one meal a day means that we can neither eat nor drink anything until after sunset. It looks like the modern day intermittent dry fasting or OMAD (one meal a day) diet.
Given this, perhaps we could observe Black Fast not only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday but during the entire forty-day Lent, couldn’t we?
During Lent, we should not eat anything in the daytime. Even we should not drink anything, either. It looks similar to Ramadan. We can eat and drink only after sunset, which should be for more than a month. In this case, it should be for forty days. In 2019, for example, this form of Black Fast should be from March 6 to April 21.
We can’t fast without eating and drinking for forty days. And yet, perhaps we could observe such Black Fast for the same number of days without affecting our everyday work.
Actually, there are several realizations in practicing this type of Black Fast. You could realize that fasting is not just a form of suffering, but more of empowering.
Jesus was able to overcome the devil’s temptations not in spite of fasting, but because of fasting. It empowered Him physically, mentally, and spiritually. Indeed, through fasting, we feel physically light, mentally clear, and spiritually calm, which could happen to anyone who observes fasting sincerely. That is why Jesus tells us:
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.Matthew 17:20-21
Fasting empowers prayer and vice versa. Both go hand in hand. If you practice Black Fast for forty days during Lent, you can truly realize the power of prayer and fasting. Even you want to continue fasting after Lent.
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