Lent is a time for penance. Most Catholics I know would think so. I certainly think so. But this lent I am trying to go a little deeper and look into the reason for penance. What is its purpose? What good does voluntary suffering do for us or anyone else? I know that it is not a way of saying that all the things we fast from are bad things. I would go so far as to say you can't fast from something bad, since you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. I don't go around consuming arsenic on a regular basis, but no one would say I am fasting from it. I am simply existing in natural relationship to it. It is not meant for consumption, I am not consuming it. Nature is preserved. But what about pizza? Pizza is meant to be consumed. If I consume it, I am in harmony with nature. If I see a pizza and don't eat any of it, though? Isn't that a violation of nature? This is an interesting line of reasoning. I think I'll follow it further in following posts, and see where it goes.