Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lent 2 ~ Good Works~Fasting

    Lent is a beautiful time of growing closer to Christ by giving of ourselves through the good works of prayer, fasting and alms giving. In these ways, we aspire to imitate Our Blessed Lord in the way that he gave Himself, without reservation,  to all of us.
  Jesus sacrificially obeyed God's Will by giving us 
His body and blood in the Holy Eucharist
     Holy Scriptures present us with many examples of holy fasting. Jesus teaches us the necessity of fasting. His words "only by prayer and fasting" address the singular manner by which the demon possessed boy was freed from a lifetime of anguish. He uses the word "when", not "if" with regards to fasting and prayer which He requires in the lives of His followers. 
      Life changing sacrifices and miracles flourished in the lives, of Moses, Daniel and Esther.  Fasting was an essential element in the lives of many Saints.
   Eating is necessary to sustain life. It is the center of many social events. We eat to celebrate, as in weddings. Food is brought to mourning family and friends as part of the activity of consolation. Human attention to food, water and eating is of
immense cultural, social, economic and historic significance.
  So, why is fasting such an important element in our reltionship with God? 
     During a holy fast, we deliberately remove ourselves from the consumption of specific foods for a specific periods of time (hours, days) , so as to concentrate upon God. Holy fasting is without motives of vanity or ego. Holy Mother Church
 prescribes fasting for lay persons, always with consideration of limitations presented by age, state of life and state of health. To disregard these factors removes the holiness of the fast-period. Before embarking on a fast, consult with a Holy priest.
   Roman Catholics fast for one hour before receiving Holy Communion. May we receive the grace to obey God's Holy Will for us in our "hours/days of fasting" during this Lenten season, because in obedience to the Will of the Father, Jesus gives us His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist.