The benefits of fasting are extraordinary, and with Lent underway, this
is a good time to begin.
God, our Father, loves us and has given us certain mysteries. As we listen inwardly, with our receptivity heightened during a fast, we can discern God’s voice.
The benefits of fasting, which means no food and only pure water, extend to a person’s entire being. Water is a symbol of purification, and as one fasts, diseases are cured, the heart is purified, tumours shrink, and blood pressure becomes normal in only three days.
The benefits of fasting are enormous. It is a powerful force that leads to spiritual triumphs:
Thought becomes clearer, the spirit becomes more lucid, intuition is sharpened and the soul rises more easily toward those immaterial treasures available to us in a limitless supply and towards peace.
Jesus not only spoke about fasting, he recommended it and practised it. The Apostles also fasted.
The early Church recommended fasting twice weekly, and many observed it on Wednesdays and on Fridays, the day Jesus suffered and died.
Fasting is a good discipline that leads to strengthening the entire body and powerfully uplifts spiritually. It is healing for the entire organism – body, mind, emotions and spirit.
During a prolonged fast, nature functions as though a physician was at work within the body. The 16th-century Swiss physician Paracelsus referred to it as medicatrix naturae, or the curative power of nature, a sort of surgical operation without scalpel.
Through a process known as autolysis, the organism is nourished during a fasting period by the reserves and excess material stored in the body. Sugars and fats are decomposed by enzymes and transformed into energy.
So it comes about that fasting induces a process of regeneration throughout the organism: kidneys, heart, liver, joints, and skin are all cleansed and rejuvenated.
This fasting therapy is practised throughout the world and fasting institutions are available in many areas.
Dr. William Esser, a dedicated Catholic, ran a fasting institution in Lake Worth, Fla., for 65 years. Many came from around the world to fast and heal with extraordinary results, including the regeneration of stem cells and the reversal of many diseases.
Fasting teaches temperance and asceticism which is necessary to attain a deeper union with the divine. Miracles will be abundant.
Lent is a great time to fast and to get in touch with the power within to improve total wellbeing and our relationship with Jesus.
Some recommended books on fasting:
Fasting, the Ultimate Diet and Fasting as a Way of Life, Dr. Alan Cott, MD.
Fasting Rediscovered, a guide to health and wholeness, Thomas Ryan, Paulist Press.
The Fast Way to Heal for Life, Dr. Halanna B. Matthew, PhD
Dr. Halanna B. Matthew is a nutritionist lecturer and parishioner at Christ the Redeemer Parish.