Friday, August 21, 2009

Considering how few people ever see this blog, I don't expect any Muslim readers to see this, but just in case, Ramadan Kareem. The fasting during the lunar month of Ramadan is intended to increase solidarity with people who don't have a choice about going hungry. We Catholics have pared down the fasting bit pretty far in our liturgical calendar, and while I rarely argue for legislation from on high as the means of invigorating the interior life, I would say that we could learn something from our Muslim sisters and brothers about taking on such a discipline and having more than just our whims to hold our feet to the fire. It's not about "giving something up," but about embodied prayer and solidarity - FEELING hunger in our bodies, and using that sensation as a launching pad to consider what hunger means given the massive scale on which it exists in our world. I know a number of students who voluntarily fast regularly, and who hold each other accountable - not making a fuss, not because they have to, not because they think it makes them holier than anyone else, but because they want to take on a discipline that keeps them attentive to issues of hunger in the world. When was the last time any of us felt truly hungry? How often do we eat when we aren't even hungry? Bethlehem Farm (where I visited last week) has a banner in their dining room that reads, "Lord, to those who hunger, give bread, and to those who have bread, give the hunger for justice." Amen...


St Edwards Blog said...

This is a very thought provoking post Brother Patrick and I thank you.

It prompted me to do a bit of writing myself and I link back to you.

Who knows, maybe we might once meet when I make one of my trips to Syracuse in the fall and winter. In any event, you are in my prayers. I am grateful to know of your blog.


beth said...

that's a really good idea about fasting, as a way to be in solidarity with the poor and hungry of the world.