Besides forgoing food and otherwise eating more simply and more consciously, consider other ways of fasting. We ask ourselves: What does my baptism cost me? Surely it requires that we fast from wasteful behaviors. Here are a few suggestions:
Fast from guzzling gas. Drive the speed limit. Take public transportation. Ride a bicycle or walk when you can.
Fast from compulsive consumerism. Check your closets, cupboards, storage rooms and garage. How many items have you collected that you thought you needed — until you brought them home and had “buyer’s remorse”? In reparation, choose some of these areas in your house to clean out. Fix, clean and deliver these items to those who need them more than you do. Examine the ways in which you consume — and perhaps waste — nature’s resources. Shorten your showers; save the warm-up water for your garden or houseplants. Recycle religiously. Refuse to use plastic. Use your own fabric shopping sack, or at least reuse paper bags until they are about to fall apart. Write on both sides of a piece of paper; recycle paper used on one side into a scratch pad. Lower your thermostat or air conditioner; add or subtract clothing in layers to keep comfortable.
Copyright © 2002 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1800 North Hermitage Avenue, Chicago IL 60622-1101; 1-800-933-1800; www.ltp.org. Text by Gertrud Mueller Nelson. Art by Steve Erspamer, sm. All rights reserved. Used with permission.