The fear of losing.

The fear of losing. 

You are afraid of losing that’s why you cling to the known, crooked known, painful known, fearful known, known obstructed by our unreasonable faith, conflicted known, paraphrased known (so it is not that obviously familiar and allows for moments of phantasy) and to every known as long as it doesn’t require stripping of our safety. For the known is not necessarily the reality but our own construct of reality perceive through the past, imagination, myths, stories, addictions, culture, education, upbringing etc. That is often the barrier and obstacle to freedom and growth. The first essential of starting to live in reality is to see clearly. And that’s where fasting, as a part of ascetic discipline, comes to help.  You have to allow yourselves to fail and it doesn’t make you a failure. If it is doe right, it makes you poor, in need, wanting.

Poor in the spirit. 

You are called to become poor as Jesus was, which starts in acknowledging that you are poor in the spirit, as Jesus started His most famous sermon. The acknowledgment that you need the One who is the Creator of all to be alive and seeing that you are poor without His Presence can not stay only in the acts of stripping of your mind of unwanted memories or resuscitating youthful catechetical answers but has to engage your bodily existence which influences your soul and deepest part of it, your heart. Realizing what has to happen to move forward and following that decision is the beginning of what is called asceticism. It starts in the body, the primary agent of acting. You need to enter into another spectrum of life by literally changing some habits, dis-attaching yourself from nonsense (things that have no sense in eternal values) and voluntarily prostrating before Jesus so He can pour out His life into you. The divine exchange of giving yourself and receiving Him will finalize when you become like Him, not only when you will see Him as He is.

Monk mode. 

Asceticism is part of the environment that makes monk mode possible. Monk mode is simply living attentively for prolonged periods of time, in prayer, in work, in rest. It produces fruitfulness, which supersedes success. You think clearer, deeper and faster, although fast is relative in that stage. You see sharply, you feel gently, you start realizing yourself in whatever way you are gifted and you understand how to share your creative self to the point of where your heart realizes it is possessed by the Spirit. Your discernment becomes sharper, you become free, docile to the Spirit flow and you stop living in the demand for success. (success may be parallel to fruitfulness but is usually not in the first years of living attentively as the heart needs to be stripped from all nonsense). Fasting forces your body to become poor and needy so your heart can start cleaning our the rooms that have been neglected and are full of webs and clutter, not allowing The Light to shine in every corner. When you fast, your senses become sharper and your desire for solitude and silence become gateways for attentiveness, living in His Presence. The intensity of His coming and taking you to the desert increases and your resistance decreases.

So as we pray Lectio Divina today during The Apostles Fast, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us become poor to gain the only success there is in life: Jesus.

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
— 2 Cor 8:9