I am convinced that prayer and austerity, prayer and self-sacrifice, prayer and fasting, prayer and vigils, prayer and marches, are the indespensible means…[a]nd love.
– Dorothy Day
Illness is loss.
When everyone else dances, you are consigned to the sidelines.
Poverty is loss.
How can you buy, sell, or trade when everything has been taken from you?
Prison is loss.
Caged, you will be reminded of your indentureship.
Hunger is loss. Nakedness is loss. Homelessness is loss. Death is loss. Abuse is loss. Sexism is loss. Racism is loss. Colonialism is loss. Discrimination is loss.
The God of Christ calls us to do the opposite of taking. This god calls followers to enter genuinely and fully into the lives of those who have lost due to others’ taking.
And the easiest and quickest way to learn how to do this and to experience God’s physical nature as a giver is to fast.
Fasting teaches us how to be compassionate as God is compassionate, that is, to have your guts moved by another’s plight, to set your opinions aside and see the world through their eyes, and to physically meet their needs on their terms.