In the old Beavis and Butt-head cartoons, Beavis becomes Cornholio when he eats lots of sugar. Example:
On Easter Sunday, I break my Lent fast. I will drown myself in sweets. I may become the Great Cornholio. (How’s that for introducing a spiritual exercise?)
Some interpret the Lent fast to exclude Sundays because those are feast days. I decided to fast straight through without stopping. Dessert and candy and explicitly sweet stuff haven’t passed my lips since Shrove Tuesday.
I recall a poignant study on grace from a few years ago. It showed how a rigid, rule-bound religious group was transformed by an infusion of grace.
I could see a valid argument that failing to observe sanctioned Lent fast breaks may be an example of a grace-less, rule-bound, spiritually rigid exercise.
However, I also considered what I am giving up: stuff that my body doesn’t need. Stuff that isn’t in any way essential to my life. Stuff on which I should have no dependence. As much as I love my Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, I am better off for skipping it for these 6.5 weeks.
Even though giving up sweet junk foods is a common Protestant form of Lent fast, it’s really such a light fast that I can have a fully grace-ful Sundays without it.
So I held my Lent fast straight, not giving it up.
As an average American, I life a life full of material comforts that even the richest from 2000 years ago could only imagine. I realize that this trivial fast is nothing, absolutely nothing compared to temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness. But it still gives me a glimpse, and for that I am thankful.