Fasting Exploring a Great Spiritual Practice
"In an age when the word itself is ambiguous, the traditions remote, and the culture unfriendly, we are attempting to answer the basic question: why fast?"
--From the Introduction.
The first half of Fasting explores the "Wisdom of the Traditions." The second half of the book looks at "Seasons and Reasons." How do contemporary Americans observe fasting in sacred times like Yom Kippur, Lent, and Ramadan? And what are the other personal, political and holistic reasons people fast today?
Throughout the book are many first-person stories about fasting experiences and a variety of quotations. Here's some "wisdom" from Fasting:
"Do you wish your prayer to fly toward God? Give it two wings: fasting and almsgiving."
"A continually stuffed body cannot see secret things."
"There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness."
"Fasting,I suggest,is God's special gift to a glutted, over-stimulated world. It is the gift of clarity, and the present is on the table waiting to be unwrapped, marveled at, decided about, and enjoyed."