Some of us are fasting today in solidarity with an interfaith “fast for peace” and an end to the war in Iraq. It was suggested that we do so in the Ramadan-style of a sunup to sundown fast and join our efforts especially with our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters in this effort.
Fasting is, of course, an ancient spiritual discipline shared by many religions. It seems to add “intentionality” and “seriousness” (for lack of a better word) to our prayers. Some translations of the Gospels have Jesus saying that some particular demons only come out by “prayer and fasting!”
For myself, fasting has always been a way to be reminded to “pray without ceasing” (since I rarely forget my hunger when I am experiencing it!). And it has also been a way to experience a tiny dose of what most people in the world experience on a daily basis — hunger and/or thirst! That’s not a bad thing in and of itself.
So, may this small exercise join many of our hearts and minds together in prayer that this misguided war in Iraq be brought to an end as soon as it can “safely” be done — for our own troops and the Iraqi people. It is now such a mess that I do not believe it can be done quickly.
But it can, and must be done, with all deliberate speed. And may we learn from this fiasco that the best response to terrorism is not full scale war, but international relations which will address the root causes of terrorism and foster international law enforcement efforts to track down and apprehend the leaders of terrorism who capitalize on the anger and frustration of the young and the poor throughout the world.
Join me in prayers — with or without fasting, and regardless of your position on the war — for peace. Surely people of faith can be united in that!