Just a little confession here: Before I read Joey Bonifacio’s book “The Mystery of the Empty Stomach,” I really thought that fasting is ALL about food deprivation and looking somber. Without meaning to, the images that come to my mind when I hear the word fasting include sack clothes, ashes, weeping and dozens of other depressing scenarios.
Joey Bonifacio’s book came as a pleasant surprise to me. The biggest shocker that I came across while reading it was the fact that fasting IS NOT supposed to be treated as an ordeal but an outflow of a joyful communion with God. Taking Luke 5: 33- 35 as main text, Bonifacio pointed out that when asked about fasting, Jesus recalled images of a happy wedding, not of a mirthless gathering of unhappy faces.
Prayer and fasting is a spiritual activity to be enjoyed, not a religious duty to be endured. Our attitude and approach to fasting should be like a bride who is too excited in all the wedding preparations that she wouldn’t mind skipping a meal or two.