Several days ago quite a few news outlets reported on a scientific study done to test the effects of fasting on our immune system. The discoveries were presented in a paper that suggested that fasting reboots the immune system and encourages the creation of stem cells.
Isn’t it fascinating when science catches up with timeless wisdom?
If one were to take the fasting disciplines of the Orthodox Christian faith seriously, a purposeful follower of this wisdom would have a diet devoid of meat and dairy products for about half the year. The combination of the rhythm of dietary wisdom and focused food choices are meant to form a certain character within us.
And yet, all too often we Orthodox Christians leave this vital and spiritually rewarding tool in our huge tool chest of spiritual remedies for our soul.
I suspect because we suffer from a dual challenge: We don’t yet understand “what” is the root of our deepest hunger AND “why” fasting is such a valuable source for satisfying that hunger. But that makes perfect sense. The scripture wisely reveals “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6. It turns out what you don’t know (or actually refuse to know) CAN hurt you.
In our Gospel Lesson today we hear deep wisdom from our Lord Jesus concerning just how to properly priorities our lives for maximum joy and absolute preparation for our eternity with Him.
The Lord declares “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek all these things