Lent 2017

DAY 22: Wednesday, March 22nd (Fasting and Partial Abstinence)

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: For our immediate and extended family and friends, who have fallen/away from the faith and are often the hardest to reach: that they may renew/begin a personal relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Potential Give: Give a kiss/hug/call/text to one of them, out of the blue, for no reason, just because you love them and are happy they exist.

Fasting Inspiration of the Day: The Martin family of Lisieux, France: parents, Louis and Zelie, were canonized as saints in 2015, becoming the first spouses in the church’s history to be canonized as a couple.  They are the patron saints of the Ecclesia domestica (the “domestic Church”).

They had nine children, four who died early in life, but five that all grew up to be nuns, to include Saint Therese, who Pope Pious X called the “greatest saint of modern times.”  Some of their familial habits are below:

  • Saints Louis and Zelie brought their children to daily mass at 5:30am.
  • They observed the liturgical calendar diligently each year.
  • They fasted and prayed routinely, and instilled both in the members of the family

Martin Family icon.jpeg

Sts. Louis & Zélie Martin with St. Thérèse of Lisieux & Siblings, by artist Paolo Orlando

Comments of the Day: This upcoming Saturday we celebrate another solemnity of the Church, the Annunciation of the Lord, so this week is a short week of fasting and a time to perhaps try for more joyful, deeper mortification

The lives of saints inspire and amaze me.  But even more so, I find wonder and amazement at those individuals that led them to become great.  The story of the Martin family fulfills my appetite in this regard.  It is a beautiful thing to think of so many saints growing up together in one household, as God intends, as they did in that household.  It was no accident that every one of the Martin children grew up to become consecrated religious persons.

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin certainly set the framework and foundation for this in their “domestic Church” – the home. For more about them, see:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides a description of the domestic church in paragraph 1656

1656 In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica. It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example . . . the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”

Let us give and inspire a similar attitude in our families this Lenten season and beyond.

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