In the meantime Columban and his companions experienced a time of great need near the city of Bregenz. But although they were without food, they were bold and unterrified in their faith, so that they obtained food from the Lord.
- The Monk Jonas, Life of St. Columban (Italian, 7th century)
But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about...My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work."
- John 4.32, 34
It was not uncommon for the peregrini to find themselves at times short of the basic necessities of life. Such as food. They generally understood such times as a kind of summons to prayer and fasting, and, as they waited on the Lord - in this case, for three days - they found a fullness and satisfaction that nurtured their souls and sustained their bodies.
For their food, like that of our Lord Jesus, was to do the will of God and to finish the work He had called them to do. To be without food for a period of time did not terrify these men, so far from home and often at odds with local authorities. They simply soldiered on without complaint until the Lord provided for their needs by one means or another.
Fasting is a much-neglected discipline in our day, but an important one nonetheless. In a season of fasting we strengthen our soul by giving priority to its needs rather than to the body - about the exact opposite of what we normally do. And as we "feed" our souls on the Word of God, meditation, prayer, singing, and waiting on the Lord, it can be surprising to discover just how fulfilling and satisfying feeding our souls can be - even to our bodies.
Fasting wondrously concentrates the soul on the food we most require - the will and work of God. Include fasting in your regimen of spiritual disciplines and you will discover, like Columbanus and Jesus, just how completely satisfying those more intense moments with the Lord can be.
Today in ReVision: Spiritual Change - The wheel of spiritual change grinds slowly, but it never ceases to grind.
This Week's Download: Impact and Understanding of the Bible: A Questionnaire - Get it and use it to improve your witness for Christ.