Few people ever think, at breakfast, that they are breaking their fast. Even fewer would see the point in deliberately fasting. Dieting, yes. But going without food and even water for religious reasons is associated quasi-exclusively with the Muslim annual practice of Ramadan. For disciples of the Prophet, fasting is not only mortification but a reminder of the compassion we all should have towards those who never have enough to eat. Catholics, who until recently used to have their own obligations of fasting, before Holy Communion and during Lent, have forgotten that we used to consider the practice as an act of sacrifice and virtue, and as a source of God’s blessing and special favors.
Apparently our new Pope Francis still does. It is, in fact, his answer to solving the problem of Syria. How on earth God is supposed to be favorably influenced by such privations to motivate Him to get people to make peace instead of continuing to kill each other, is beyond me. Does the Pope believe in a God who would reward people for self-inflicted hunger by solving our geopolitical problems ? It is hard enough to accept that He could be affected by our pointless prayers. But to imagine Him appreciating our cutting back on food consumption to the point of imposing peace in the Middle East as reward, is surely proof of the absurdity, the blind folly, of blind faith.