Sunday, March 23, 2014

Prayer and Fasting~Lent 4

     Generosity is a natural outcome of prayer and fasting. Alms giving, as well as offering time and service, stem from a holy root of self denial. The focus is gracefully removed from satisfying the whims of the appetite. There is a heightened awareness of the needs of others. Hunger shifts from the need to feed the self to a holy inclination to provide for our neighbor. Greed releases its grip in favor of a willingness to serve. The unreasonable fear of not having enough is supernaturally lifted. Giving without measuring is pleasing to the heart. Material possessions and social status are all too frequently an avenue of ensnarement by the evil one.  Prayer and fasting miraculously transform the craving for applause into a yearning for a closeness to the Heart of Jesus.

"And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face. That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth, where rust and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither rust nor moth doth consume and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also." 
Matthew 6:16-21
Douay Rheims Roman Catholic Bible