In our second week of "The Monastic in Me" we examine the spiritual discipline of Fasting. For some, fasting is an outdated, negative discipline that seems like punishment (why would God want us to do that?). Others declare that fasting isn't healthy (don't we all need three big meals a day?). But a closer look at the discipline of fasting reveals that done properly it is a joyful, healthy way of entering more deeply into the spiritual life. This Sunday we investigate the mathematics of Fasting: As we subtract things from our life (food, media, etc...) we add a deeper experience of reliance upon God and we learn new ways of exercising self control in our daily lives.
When I was a kid I wanted to be like Michael Jordan (what kid didn't). But copying his moves and emulating his style was never enough to "be like Mike." That's because, beneath Jordan's fantastic performances, were years of hidden discipline and effort that shaped him into the athlete he was. The same is true of Christians, who desire to be like Christ, but are less willing to discipline their lives and do the "hard work" of spiritual formation. But this Lent we are returning to those ancient spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith and realizing that these aren't just for the spiritual elite, the monks and nuns of our day: these disciplines are meant to be the "spiritual workouts" that shape every Christian into the Kingdom of God. This week we begin by examining the discipline of prayer which is the most foundational of all the disciplines. As Richard Foster writes: "To pray is to change."
Canon Robert Hurkmans has been the minister at St. James and St. Brendan since 2006.