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 those suffering in some way related to the terrible St. Petersburg subway bombing and the Syrian chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun. May God turn these tragedies into something much more positive, soon, for the people involved, all for His greater glory.
Potential Give: Help a neighbor with a task this Lent.
Fasting Inspiration of the Day: St. Basil the Great (b. 329 – 379), Doctor of the Church, “revealer of heavenly mysteries,” patron saint of Russia, Cappadocia, Hospital administrators, Reformers, Monks, Education, Exorcism, Liturgists
Basil was responsible for defining the terms “ousia“ (essence/substance) and “hypostasis“ (person/reality), and for defining the classic formulation of three Persons in one Nature. His single greatest contribution was his insistence on the divinity and consubstantiality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son.
St. Basil the Great preached on fasting in several homilies. Below are some quotes from those homilies (one source is here: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/03/st-basil-greats-homily-on-fasting-1-of.html):
“Fasting gives birth to prophets and strengthens the powerful; fasting makes lawgivers wise. Fasting is a good safeg
uard for the soul, a steadfast companion for the body, a weapon for the valiant, and a gymnasium for athletes. Fasting repels temptations, anoints unto piety; it is the comrade of watchfulness and the artificer of chastity. In war it fights bravely, in peace it teaches stillness.”
“For satiety brings delight to the stomach, whereas fasting brings profit to the soul. Be of good cheer, for the physician has given you a medicine that destroys sin. For, just as the tapeworms that breed in the intestines of children are obliterated by certain very pungent drugs, so also fasting — a remedy truly worthy of its appellation, when introduced into the soul, kills off the sin that lurks deep within it.”
Comments of the Day: Let us internalize these teachings from the great Doctor of the Church, St. Basil and be a “real faster.” Let us continue to “withdraw from all evil” this Lent, and receive a taste of that true goodness, so that we can carry it forward into the Easter season and truly eat with our Lord once He is risen this coming liturgical season! God bless!