Introduction

Oh you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may become pious.[Qur’an 2:183].

This site does not propagate theological doctrines authoritative to any religious group or school of thought. We do not wish to present sectarian or denominational treatises or deprecate anyone’s faith. Our intent and aspirations are to encourage and promote spiritual awareness by recommending a practice as old as religion itself.

We try to avoid didactic or pedagogical diatribes. Please do not deduce an anti-science bias. Though we affirm the ultimate teleological transcendency of spirit over matter, the physical sciences are unabashedly acknowledged as divine tools. We are ever ready to reference science to support the ideas and views we advocate.

The ability of science to address spiritual questions is finite, while the boundaries surrounding spiritual understanding are infinite. This state of affairs humbles us.

Nevertheless, we hope to cultivate a holistic attitude that gives appropriate recognition and respect to both realms. While religion is scientifically challenged by today’s standards, no one can convincingly assert that science will never offer full recognition to the spiritual dimension.

This is not a diet or a health food site, either. We distinguish between the intent of a spiritual fast and that of a therapeutic or cosmetic diet. We do not advocate a material perspective but instead affirm the need to cultivate spiritual health. Such an effort enhances physical joy and promotes material satisfaction and is essential to total well-being.

Finally, this is not a how-to-fast site. The particulars of how to fast are the subject of many readily available books. Such details are in the realm of either religious doctrines and practices, or of health and diet books. Since we advocate a spiritual practice accepted by all religions, to explain the details of how to fast would intrude into the domain of theological systems and creeds.

There is very little original here. On the contrary, the site tries to emphasize that fasting is a time-honored spiritual tool not limited to any one religion or period of time. The only innovation may be that we try to present fasting with modern connotations and when possible, try to utilize modern science to reinforce our points.

Our purpose is to remind and inform seekers of God about fasting, this wonderful tool used by believers throughout time. We also hope that those well-advanced in the path may be fortified and strengthened by reading about the ascetic efforts and forbearance of great saintly men and women.

We do not find God by fasting. Indeed, it can be said that one does not find God by striving of any kind. It is God Who finds us. The All-knowing, All-Seeing distinguishes and sets us apart by what is in our hearts. Our thoughts, words and deeds affirm and manifest our faith and the level of awareness we may have achieved.

Fasting is to reaffirm to oneself what Jesus answered Satan when he tempted him at the end of his 40 days of fasting in the wilderness: “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4)… Today, especially in affluent societies, it is difficult to grasp the meaning of these Gospel words. Consumerism, instead of satisfying needs, constantly creates new ones, often generating excessive activism. Everything seems necessary and urgent and one risks not even finding the time to be alone with oneself for a while…

St Augustine’s warning is more timely than ever. “Enter again into yourself.” Yes, we must enter again into ourselves if we want to find ourselves. Not only our spiritual life is at stake but indeed our personal, family and social equilibrium itself.[Pope John Paul II, Sunday Angelus – March 10, 1996].

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