Not simply abstinence from food

“What the Christian should be doing at all times should be done now with greater care and devotion,” said Saint Leo the Great, “so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be fulfilled, not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin.”

I turn to Leo’s words as a reminder of what I should be focusing on during Lent, in addition to practical works of charity. And I’m also thinking about it in relation to Justin Bieber’s recent interview where he speaks freely about recognizing that belief in Christ was is thing, but actually turning away from sin is another:

“I just didn’t know what the heck was going on and so I really took a deep dive in my faith, to be honest, I just went deep,” Bieber told Apple Muisc’s Zane Lowe about the bad place he found himself in 2017 that resulted in him canceling his world tour.

After a string of mishaps from 2013 to 2017, Bieber changed his life all together and held on to his Christian faith while working on his mental and physical health.

Before making the transformation, however, he admitted he “believed in Jesus” but was not living the life of a follower. …

“I never really … When it says, following Jesus, it’s actually turning away from sin,” Bieber explained. “What it talks about in the Bible, there’s no faith without obedience. I had had faith about like, ‘I believe Jesus died on the cross for me, but I never really implemented it into my life.’ I never like, ‘I’m gonna be obedient.’”

Who or what are we obedient to, other than our own changing whims?

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