Two years ago, I heard that the earliest disciples (the ones who knew Jesus when he was alive on earth) usually fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays. I chose to fast just like the first disciples for Lent two years ago and go to daily mass after my Tuesday and Thursday classes. I added those masses because I heard adding a Christ-centered activity to Lent is good for the soul.
I thought that limiting myself to two smaller meals and one full meal for two days of the week wouldn't be hard. I thought that going to daily mass wouldn't be a challenge, it would be a joy!
But it really was.
The first two weeks were difficult for a couple of reasons. My stomach would growl a little too obnoxiously in class, causing my classmates to turn and give me sly grins about my problem.
My thoughts on Wednesdays and Fridays would focus on all the food I was not eating... and then usually on Thursdays and Saturdays, I pigged out on Chex Mix and Nutty Buddies while binge-watching the CW channel in my dorm room. I was always embarrassed when I went into mass because the door would make a noise when I walked in - late.
But by the end of the two weeks, a couple of things happened.
During the first week, I almost gave all of my quarters to the vending machine downstairs because I was so snacky on the days I wasn't fasting. I felt uncomfortable going to daily mass (LATE) because I didn't feel holy enough to be there (you know, with all those missionaries and daily mass regulars). But the end of the second week, a couple of things changed.
I found myself hungry for something more substantial than sweet and salty foods. The good news was, I found that satisfaction in the daily masses I was attending. The next couple of weeks of Lent went by a little easier. I adapted to go with less food and became a little less self-conscious when I went to mass (late).
But you know what? It's Ash Wednesday and I'm already fantasying about waiting till midnight to stuff my face with chips and queso (Ash Wednesday is the first day of fasting in Lent). It's the first day of Lent, and I do not want to fast.
I feel like a bad Catholic admitting this, but hey, Jesus said the truth would set me free. He can't work with me if I'm not being honest.
I know what happens when I fast, pray, and strive to obey God. I become a better version of myself.
So yes, I wish fasting went by a little faster. I wish fasting wasn't as effective as it was because it is challenging! BUT I will do it and I will be better because of it. So keep your head up ladies and gents. Keep your promises to God as best as you can.
Your fasting and laboring will not be in vain. God will see you and reward you for your efforts.
Good luck with your fasting!