1917 Fast Observance Today*: Fasting, maximum food intake is one meal, along with two small meal (that together don’t equate to another full meal). No snacking in between and no alcohol consumption today. No high-caloric “drinks” like milkshakes, smoothies, etc.
*Applicable to healthy adults between ages of 21-60 (some exemptions exist – see 1917 Fast: The Specifics)
1917 Abstinence Observance Today**: Partial abstinence, meaning that meat can be eaten only at the principal meal on these days
**Applicable to all age 7 and over.
Potential Prayer(s): The Liturgy of the Hours and the Sorrowful Mysteries Rosary
Potential Fast Intention: Freedom from medical difficulties
Potential Give: Consider donating to a medical hospital, like St. Jude: http://www.stjude.org/donate
Fasting Inspiration of the Day: Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri, (27 September 1696 – 1 August 1787), Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
“God has given us the goods of the earth, not only that we may enjoy them, but also that we may have the means of … showing him our love by the voluntary renunciation of his gifts, and by the oblation of them to his glory. To abandon, for God’s sake, all worldly enjoyments, has always been the practice of holy souls.” – St. Alphonsus
Those who“neglect the mortification of the taste will daily commit a thousand faults.” – St. Alphonsus
Comments of the Day:
“Restraint at table is often the first line of defense for a community against the spirit of the world. If a person does not practice restraint, and indulges its appetite to satiety, then it will eventually find itself drag down by the weight of the flesh, ceding the body’s ever-increasing demands. Such a life, says Saint Teresa of Avila, is most regrettable; for they will be left with nothing but dryness, lethargy, and disquiet, convinced that it is a trial sent on high, when it is only due to their own lack of self restraint. In today’s society, this occurs more than one might realize.”
These comments struck a chord with me. Restraining satiety is something I certainly struggle with on non-fast days. For many years, I took Saint Teresa’s comments that “when I fast, I fast and when I eat, I eat” quite literally, but even in non-fast days, moderation and mortification are important. I believe I have confused similar bodily demands as trials on high, when rather they are trials I self-impose given my lack of self-restraint.
I’m still trying to find the balance I need to satiate hunger and feed the body given its needs, but not eat because my mind wants to try or have something. Fasting helps restore that balance for me, which is why I plan to incorporate it into every week, even outside of Lent. Livethefast.org helps greatly in providing spiritual encouragement and nourishment for weekly Wednesday and Friday fasts. I have to remind myself routinely that fasting feeds the soul!