Did you fast all of Great Lent? If you did, then today your body is sending you a message. If you remember back to the first couple days of the fast, your body was cleansing itself of the many toxins in you diet. Without meat and dairy, your body cleansed itself. You probably even felt better after the first few days, with more natural energy and less weighed down throughout the day. That was because the foods we normally eat are not only heavy filled with too much fat, but also many chemical toxins. Great Lent is practically a vegan diet which is much healthier, presuming you made proper plans for proteins and vitamins which you were receiving by eating meat and dairy.
Then yesterday, we broke the fast with a great feast. Pascha is a time for celebration, and let’s face it, we tend to overeat on foods like those we haven’t been eating for seven weeks. By last night or this morning, your body is most likely fighting back. You probably feel weighed down, a bit lethargic, and maybe even sleepy. If you’re new to fasting, the physical affect might be more violent, but I’ll spare the details in this blog post. If you’re “experienced” at fasting, you’ve become accustomed to this feeling, and know it will pass after a few days. You’ll be back to normally, physically speaking, by the end of Bright Week. Personally speaking, each year this ‘yucky feeling’ in my body is not what I look forward to, and I always miss how my body felt more functional during Great Lent.
We can learn something from this physical response to the feast. Just as our bodies respond negatively to the introduction of toxins in food, our souls react when we introduce sin. Chances are pretty good that you spent Great Lent, or at least the days of Holy Week, more focused on eliminating sin from your life. You may have even felt a bit of withdrawal and increased temptation when you stopped certain behaviors during Great Lent, just as your body experienced the first few days of the Fast.
Now that we are celebrating Pascha, don’t do to your soul what you are doing to your body. Instead of going back to including sin in your life, keep fasting from sin. Unfortunately, just as your body becomes accustomed to food toxins, you soul can get accustomed to sin. Just as we tend to eat poorly causing our body to slowing get sick without our knowledge, continuing to sin will have the same affect on our soul. We may not feel it after a few days, but our soul is still filling with toxins every time we sin. Take the next few days of physical discomfort to remind you to avoid sin. Your soul will be healthier for it.