Fuel for Renewal
I’ve always found the word fast a bit strange. I’m referring to the Lenten obligation that many know well, and to that dreaded prescription given by doctors in anticipation of blood work or surgery. Our English word fast has German roots and holds varied meanings. The word can mean sure, certain, or committed—as in, she was fast asleep. It can also imply connection: to hold fast to something, like one’s beliefs. The most common use, of course, means rapid, not slow, but swift. Ironically, Lenten fast-days seem to go by very slowly. Each definition offers insight into our Lenten practice, deepening our understanding of this centuries-old penitential practice. For most of us, hunger sets in as soon as we’re told not to eat anything. It’s amazing how much we have the potential to gain when we go without.
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