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Fast today or tomorrow(12/23 or 12/24) December 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Latin Mass, North Deanery, Tradition, Virtue.

Back in the day, our forefathers in the Faith fasted and abstained from flesh far more than we do nowadays.  Now, we only have two required days of fasting and abstinence in the entire liturgical year – Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  But in the past, Catholics fasted or abstained throughout the years on Fridays, in some places Wednesday’s too, and definitely during Advent and Lent – both penitential seasons of preparation.  In some places, these fasts or periods of abstinence are coming back – in England, for instance, the Friday abstinence from meat is now back in place.  I pray for similar, or more, on these shores.

That being said, it is always good to fast or abstain to the degree of our ability (if you have a medical condition, follow your doctor’s guidance).  Traditionally, one of the two days before Christmas would be a day of fasting or abstinence.  If you’ve already eaten flesh meat today, perhaps tomorrow could be a day of fast?

Why should we fast?  A local priest said today that the United States is a monument to intemperance.  We are awash in a culture of excess, we are intemperate in every possible way.  We eat too much, drink too much, medicate too much, gorge ourselves on porn and all manner of sexual license – and we wonder why people have road rage?  It’s all related!  If you are intemperate in matters sexual, you are likely to be intemperate in terms of indulging in wrath, and so on.

Those of us who feel a particular call to holiness can and should offer our acts of penitence for those in our culture, and even our Church, who do not do so.  By living lives of temperance we can, prayerfully, set an example for others to follow.  The world is sometimes changed through acts of great drama, but it is more frequently changed through many small acts on the part of millions.  To offer a bit of hunger, or thirst, or denial of any pleasure, in a willing, joyful manner, is immensely pleasing to Our Lord – provided we are in a state of Grace.  And personally, many of us have much to atone for – fasting can be a physical sign of our desire to turn away from self-indulgent pleasure and offer ourselves to Our Blessed Lord so soon to be Incarnate for us.

Dominus vobiscum!

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