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: The 20 million at imminent risk from starvation and diseases in Somali, Southern Sudan, Yemen and Northeast Nigeria. It is considered the largest humanitarian risk since the creation of the United Nations in 1945.
Potential Give: Donate to the United Nations International Organization for Migration here – They are seeking ~$25 million for Somalia alone.
Fasting Inspiration of the Day: Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of Prayer for the Church and one of my favorite saints.
“When I fast, I fast; and when I eat partridge, I eat partridge!” — a favorite Saint Teresa quote of mine!
“You have entered religion not to indulge the flesh but to die for Jesus Christ. If we do not resolve to disregard the want of health, we shall do nothing. What injury will death do us? How often have our bodies molested us? Shall not we mortify them in return?”
Comments of the Day: Hope everyone had a great “mini-Easter” on Sunday.
We “begin again”, in the words of St. Teresa of Avila, this week in our fasting.
Saint Teresa, who was led in spiritual direction at one time by another fasting inspiration already highlighted St. Peter Alcantara, modeled Catholic virtues in a confident, direct way. Her writings translate easily for us in our age, given their clarity and boldness.
As Saint Teresa of Avila said:
“Our human nature often asks for more than what it needs, and sometimes the devil helps so as to cause fear about the practice of penance and fasting…My health has been much better since I have ceased to look after my ease and comforts.”
From the site http://www.religious-vocation.com/fasting_religious_renewal.html, we read that:
“If we consider the ordinary fare of the Apostles likely consisted at most of stale bread, fish, goats milk, vegetables, olives, and cheese, then we should be ashamed at what we in American today consider “necessary”. Indeed, the human body is more resilient than most may realize. It is commonly accepted that a person can live without food (water only) for about forty days. We also know that many seculars who fast for its health benefits alone, commonly perform water-only fasts for three, ten, twenty, and sometimes even forty days (albeit under supervision). We mention this because there are some who tend to get nervous about fasting on bread and water for one or two days per week. We would argue that this fear is unwarranted. Most people should be able to easily fast on bread and water for one day (assuming they are healthy), and still perform their necessary duties. Fasting should not cause us to fear for our health, but instead should be done with great joy, since it is by fasting that we erect a spiritual fortress around our homes and merit the grace of conversion for numerous souls. Those who drag their feet into fasting however, may feel lethargic and burdened. But for the generous heart, fasting is often a bliss, producing the best days of prayer and clarity.”
I pray that all partaking in fasting this Lenten season experience such bliss.