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 baptized, but fallen away Catholics – that the New Evangelization may return them to the Church
Potential Give: Partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Adoration sometime this Holy Week!
Fasting Inspiration of the Day: Matthew 6:16-18 NJB
“16 ‘When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.
17 But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face,
Comments of the Day: Today, we enter the home stretch – Holy Week! This week the theo-drama that unfolds in the Passion builds to a crescendo in Good Friday, and ends with the Resurrection, Sunday.
This Biblical passage from the Gospel of Matthew initially gave me pause when creating this site. Should I be publicly promoting fasting and a fasting site if God only rewards those who fast in secret?
Well after some good Catholic counsel from a former theology professor, I discerned it was still a good idea to move forward and create the site last year. I wouldn’t be promoting my own fasting, but rather the importance and beauty of the practice thereof, in an effort to build a community of like-minded people who want to go beyond the minimum penitential rites this season.
On a deeper level, I’ve also come to find that fasting is not an end in and of itself, but rather a means; a means of encountering the “true fast” – the one where we work to purge ourselves from our-self, at least the one that is built upon Original Sin, and the downstream generational and personal sins that flow into our lives from that long-ago break with God’s grace.
Fasting does not score points with God, but it makes helps us open our hearts more to Him during our days. Fasting allows us to empty ourselves so that we can refill our souls with the Holy Spirit. In so doing, we truly fast and achieve our “reward” which is to become more like Jesus and less like our sinful nature. If it is JUST about not eating a meal or not drinking that coffee, then we are doing it wrong.
In fact, we could be tempted to believe we are scoring those points and gaining favor with God, when in fact, we are just building up our pride and potentially damaging our spiritual life moreso. The saints have said similar things in many different, more succinct and holier ways, but the essence is the same.
Here is to a blessed Holy Week that eliminates more of our sins as we fast, and adds more of God’s grace into our hearts!