Who could love fasting?

“…To love fasting” (Rule of Benedict 4.13)

t-shirt with saying

In the Ash Wednesday readings, Jesus tells us not to be gloomy when we fast. StBenedict tells us to love it!

Gloomy fasting is showy, drawing attention. It looks good – or at least holy. That’s its only reward, says Jesus.

Self-discipline never looks fun. Piano practice, basketball drills, school homework only have value because they enable us to make music, play games, and live productively. We can love the drills for the dreams they evoke of playing with a band or team, of using our minds. Fasting, if not for show, opens a spiritual longing. Who can’t love that?


Tooling Through Lent is a series of brief reflections on Chapter 4 of the Rule of Benedict, The Tools for Good Works.

About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
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