Fasting for Purification

We fast to attain purity, but even before the fast, the intention itself must be pure and sincere. Our mind must be focused on pleasing God and becoming better, more obedient servants. We must seek this even before the fasting begins. We then approach the initial act of fasting with an earnest commitment.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. [Galatians 5:16-17 (NIV)].

Physical Purification
To advance toward God, purity of heart is essential, and fasting is a fundamental tool for purification. It provides a ritual state of purity in preparation for ceremonies and sacraments. In addition to providing physical purification, fasting prepares us mentally and spiritually.

Before the baptism, moreover, the one who baptizes and the one being baptized must fast, and others who can. And you must tell the one being baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand. [Didache].

Pure Speech
Much misery and sadness come from negligent and thoughtless words. Our tongue finds no stillness when we feed our passions and gratify our lusts. As indecent words gush from our restless lips, we stir hatred and fuel conflicts that offend us and those around us.

Profane words damage our spiritual development while exalted speech and sublime words bring calmness and sobriety to our soul. May our lips ever be praising God and may our tongue eloquently glorify our Lord.

Fasting kills the desire of the self and the appetite of greed, and from it comes purity of the heart, purification of the limbs, cultivation of the inner and the outer being, thankfulness for blessings, charity to the poor, increase of humble supplication, humility, weeping and most of the ways of seeking refuge in God; and it is the reason for the breaking of aspiration, the lightening of evil things, and the redoubling of good deeds. It contains benefits which cannot be counted. It is enough that we mention some of them to the person who understands and is given success in making use of fasting, if God wills. [Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq, The Lantern of the Path, Fasting]. 

Pure Thoughts
By fasting, we turn away from physical pleasure and concentrate on matters of faith, seeking to prevent additional worldly impurities from contaminating us. Sealed from outside intrusions, the body begins a natural process of cleansing. This cleansing prepares the mind and spirit to approach God and to perceive the Divine Reality through sanctified senses.

The fasting mind gravitates toward loftier consciousness. At the same time, charity and acts of devotion further purify the heart. The cluttered thinking of a hectic material existence begins to dissipate. Prayer and remembrance of God then filter out the dreg and the impure thoughts, allowing greater awareness of God to prevail.

They [those who fear God] likewise well remember how fullness of bread increased not only carelessness and levity of spirit, but also foolish and unholy desires, yea, unclean and vile affections . . . Even a genteel, regular sensuality is continually sensualizing the soul, and sinking it into a level with the beasts that perish. It cannot be expressed what an effect a variety and delicacy of food have on the mind as well as the body; making it just ripe for every pleasure of sense, as soon as opportunity shall invite.

Therefore, on this ground also, every wise man will refrain his soul, and keep it low; will wean it more and more from all those indulgences of the inferior appetites, which naturally tend to chain it down to earth, and to pollute as well as debase it. Here is another perpetual reason for fasting; to remove the food of lust and sensuality, to withdraw the incentives of foolish and hurtful desires, of vile and vain affections. [John Wesley, The Works of John Wesley, Volume 5, Sermon 27.”Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on The Mount”].

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One thought on “Fasting for Purification”

  1. Hello dear ones in the LORD,
    many greetings to you all in HIS HOLY name.
    A servent of GOD here, M,69,serving the LORD since 5th. sept.1964,
    in india, The founder and director of CROWN OUTREACH MINISTRIES,
    with the GOAL of reach the un-reached,with HIS Gosple and plant the churches,
    romans,15v20, planted 70,Churches so far and 70,pastors are serving along
    with me.and my life time goal is to plant atleast 500 churchs.

    Beside the Church service we are also
    working for the destitute,disabled,widows and the aged, with the motive
    of show them the Christian love in action and lead them unto the SAVIOUR.
    matt 25:35-40 and james 1:27.By HIS grace we are giving them free food.
    and the Accomedation,and free education and reahabilitating them.with the
    CHRISTIAN LOVE.
    Theses benevolent services i have started out of my own bitter experances,
    I lost my father when i was just “11and half years of old, my father
    was a preacher and he was killed becouse of his strong preachings,on 17th,
    jan.1961,hence me and my 4 younger sisters and 1 younger brother became orphans
    and I had to take care of them,for being a yelder son of the family.

    And I myself is a polio effected desabled man, and my mother remained
    widow for more than 35 years,with the lot of seferings,with tears. plz pray
    Here is my humble request to all of you that,please pray for me, and for
    the ministries here,and stand by us,if the LORD permits you please support
    us financially and let us be the part of your supported ministries
    here.
    The BIBLE TV.here has given me a award called “THE DIMOND OF CHRIST”
    due to my 52 years of HIS service,and for the benevolent services
    amonge the poor and needy people here,pleae accept my humbel request and
    stand by us, think its your part of the ministries here.Its my humble request,
    Plz support us and send us to reach many un-reached ones,as,Is.6:8.says.
    if the LORD permitts you,plz make your checks, or moneyorder in the payable to
    The,CROWN OUTREACH MINISTRIES. and send it to the below address,its a non profitable
    socity, the govt.of india has given us the permissin to get the funds from other countries
    for this charity service here and its tax free,plz pray for us and stand by us and let us be
    the part of your supported ministries here.
    MIGHTY GOD be with all of us.

    your fellow servent of JESUS
    rev. k. vinod kumar

    to the director
    CROWN OUTREACH MINITRIES
    44/98-1A
    prakash nagar
    kurnool 518004, india
    pho. 0091-93473 63303.
    revkvkumar@yahoo.com

    the abbreviation of CROWN

    C-CRIST, R-RURAL, O-ORPHANS, W-WIDOWS,(WELFARE,),N-NAVIGATOR.

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