1917 Fast Observance Today*: Fasting, maximum food intake is one meal, along with two small meals (which, if added 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**: Full abstinence, no meat or meat products may be eaten.
**Applicable to all age 7 and over.
Potential Prayer(s): The Sorrowful Mysteries
Potential Fast Intention(s): For the Pope, religious, clergy and laity of the Church
Potential Give(s): Price of saved meals today to Church, charity or worthy cause
Saint of the Day: Saint Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church (an all-time favorite)
“For the seven year period prior to her death, Saint Catherine of Siena took no food into her body other than the Eucharist. Her fasting did not affect her energy, however. She maintained a very active life during those seven years. As a matter of fact, most of her great accomplishments occurred during that period. Her death had nothing to do with malnutrition, or anything connected with lack of food.”
Not only did her fasting not cause her to lose energy, but became a source of extraordinary strength, she becoming stronger in the afternoon, after having received our Lord in His Eucharist. One of the only sufferings she found almost intolerable, was to be denied Her Lord in the Eucharist.
The Miraculous communion of St. Catherine of Siena, painted by Domenico Beccafumi in the second decade of the 16th century
Site Owner Notes:
Welcome! First, a big thank you to all who signed up for this site, and especially for the repeat 1917 fasters!
I was not planning to update this site this year, nor do the “1917 fast” again this year. But, after getting some positive encouragement from several visitors to this site to continue, I decided to again update this site this year for readers. My time has become more constrained this year, so I will likely re-highlight many of the same Saints and comments per day as I did last year. The focus is still on the fast specifics, daily prayer and repetitive almsgiving, and not on me or the blog, so I feel that is ok to do. Please let me know if you’d like me to highlight or discuss anything though, or have other thoughts!
Comments for the day:
Desert, not Dessert. It is said that Lent is a time to forego dessert for the desert. Notably, following our Lord into the desert. First, let’s recall our Lord’s fast and His temptation in the desert and what we are trying to imitate during this Lent under the 1917 fast:
Matthew 4:1-11New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
The Temptation of Jesus. 1 [a]Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights,[b] and afterwards he was hungry. 3 The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” 4 [c]He said in reply, “It is written:
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’”
5 [d]Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:
‘He will command his angels concerning you’
and ‘with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” 8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, 9 and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”[e] 10 At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written:
‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry.[f]
- 4:1–11 Jesus, proclaimed Son of God at his baptism, is subjected to a triple temptation. Obedience to the Father is a characteristic of true sonship, and Jesus is tempted by the devil to rebel against God, overtly in the third case, more subtly in the first two. Each refusal of Jesus is expressed in language taken from the Book of Deuteronomy (Dt 8:3; 6:13, 16). The testings of Jesus resemble those of Israel during the wandering in the desert and later in Canaan, and the victory of Jesus, the true Israel and the true Son, contrasts with the failure of the ancient and disobedient “son,” the old Israel. In the temptation account Matthew is almost identical with Luke; both seem to have drawn upon the same source.
- 4:2 Forty days and forty nights: the same time as that during which Moses remained on Sinai (Ex 24:18). The time reference, however, seems primarily intended to recall the forty years during which Israel was tempted in the desert (Dt 8:2).
- 4:4 Cf. Dt 8:3. Jesus refuses to use his power for his own benefit and accepts whatever God wills.
- 4:5–7 The devil supports his proposal by an appeal to the scriptures, Ps 91:11a, 12. Unlike Israel (Dt 6:16), Jesus refuses to “test” God by demanding from him an extraordinary show of power.
- 4:9 The worship of Satan to which Jesus is tempted is probably intended to recall Israel’s worship of false gods. His refusal is expressed in the words of Dt 6:13.
- 4:12–17 Isaiah’s prophecy of the light rising upon Zebulun and Naphtali (Is 8:22–9:1) is fulfilled in Jesus’ residence at Capernaum. The territory of these two tribes was the first to be devastated (733–32 B.C.) at the time of the Assyrian invasion. In order to accommodate Jesus’ move to Capernaum to the prophecy, Matthew speaks of that town as being “in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali” (Mt 4:13), whereas it was only in the territory of the latter, and he understands the sea of the prophecy, the Mediterranean, as the sea of Galilee.
Essentially, we model our Lord by praying, fasting and giving: for God, for ourselves, for others.
Lent is a time for interior renewal and for greater solidarity with the members of the body of Christ, especially those suffering. To paraphrase Mother Angelica, in Lent, we do penance to strengthen our will, our resolve and our detachment from our human wants.
We seek to follow and imitate Christ. Lent, and in particular the Lenten fast, is a way to do that, boldly. Every time we hunger is a time to remember our Lord, and the members that make up the body of Christ, particularly those hurting or struggling. It helps keep the Lord on our minds, which is great, if you, like me, require that type of continual recall, and physical-to mental-to spiritual signal.
Please feel free to use the comment section to add anything of interest or fasts you may be undertaking in addition or separately to this 1917 fast, so to speak.
Godspeed as we begin anew!