Monday, February 20, 2012

Beginning Lent---Fasting

Lent begins in 48 hours.
We begin the holy season by receiving ashes.
We also begin the holy season with a day of fasting.
Though many saints have shown that the way to God involves penance and fasting, we avoid it.  We want God but we don't want to follow the direction of the holy men and women.
(Oh by the way, in case you were wondering the Mother of God told us to fast..we should listen to our Mother)
But we seem to be minimalists.  Canonically the church says we need only fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (but even those have 'amended menus). 
We simply don't want to do the work.

satan's success relies upon our laziness and countless rationalizations

I am the world's worst faster and I fail miserably.
I'm talking real fasting.
Not that one full meal and two small supplemental meal stuff that is preached today.
I'm talking bread and water for 24 hours.
It's not only a cultural contradiction but an ecclesial one
Just listen to the preaching on Ash Wednesday--take note how many will actually espouse fasting on bread and water.  
When I was a young priest--I never fasted.
Sometimes fasting results in immediate spiritual results.
And then at other times--it is more about patient perseverance.
Start a fasting prayer group in your home.

"And he said to them: This kind can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." Mk. 9:28.

Jesus is pretty clear.  You got a demon?  Then do battle.  Pray, fast and then go to confession.  And then pray and fast some more--actually do it forever.
It will change your life.

Have a good Lent.