Lent 2018

DAY 12: Sunday, February 25th (Midnight Eucharistic Fast until consumption of Holy Communion)

1917 Fast Observance Today: None. Enjoy all three meals, if you’d like.

1917 Eucharistic Fast*: Fasting from midnight from all food and drink, including water, until consumption of Holy Communion, if attending Mass today (rather than the Saturday vigil).

*Applicable to healthy adults between ages of 21-60 (some exemptions exist – see 1917 Fast: The Specifics)

1917 Abstinence Observance Today: None. Enjoy eating meat today, if you’d like.

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Potential Prayer(s): The Sorrowful Mysteries Rosary

Potential Give(s): Consider downloading and giving this Lent via the CRS Rice Bowl App: http://www.crsricebowl.org/about/app

Comments of the Day: The first full week of Lent is behind us and hopefully you started to find a daily rhythm this week to the fast!

It is counter-intuitive and certainly counter-cultural to believe that fasting, to this extent, will help our lives, but I find it not just helpful, but absolutely vital, as long as it is combined, like the Church teaches, with prayer and giving.  The three pillars are key in helping us experience and encounter the true fast and eating of the “true food” which is God’s will (see yesterday’s comments).

This fast is beautiful in that it truly reconnects us not only to the ancient teachings of the Church, which are still highly recommended, but also to the wisdom of the Apostles, the Church Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, the universal Saints and so many who have gone before us in the faith.

Whether under the 1917 Code, or under the 1983 Code in legal effect today, we, as Catholics, receive a fairly generous daily food allowance under our fasting days, especially when compared to some of our Eastern Catholic or Orthodox brothers and sisters (think of the Great Fast).

Two snacks and a one meal (generally consumed in the evenings) are allowed, as well as many kinds of liquids, to include juices, coffee, milk and the like, without strict daily limits.  Obviously, we want to observe the spirit of the law during the fast and not drink heavy amounts of liquid calories to circumvent the law and the fast, but we do get a great allowance in the types we can consume.

For those so inclined to keep pressing forward, I would encourage you every week to try and go a little deeper in the fast, and obviously in prayer and giving as well.  Perhaps consider, as the weeks go on in Lent, limiting the amount of allowable food and drink every week; that could mean limiting drink consumption or limiting certain liquids like coffee or juice, or only consuming one snack and one meal instead of two, etc. Other ideas would be to undertake an interior mortification of something we struggle with, in addition, to the fast, such as guarding our tongue from loose talk, or walking up earlier to pray.

Thinking along these lines should be a help to our spiritual lives, so long as the mortifications are well-considered, practical, well-paced and implemented, and not overly ambitious. Obviously, take it to our Lord, pray and discern.

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