A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fast results

For some, fasting is old fashioned.

For some, fasting is a good way to lose weight (consult your doctor first).

For some, fasting is a heroic practice and affirmation of Catholic identity.

For the Church, fasting is “an expression of interior penance, in imitation of the fast of Jesus for forty days in the desert. Fasting is an ascetical practice recommended in Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers; it is sometimes prescribed by a precept of the Church, especially during the liturgical season of Lent.” (USCCB Glossary to the Catechism)

Today’s Gospel (Matthew 9:14-15) reminds us that fasting has an eschatological dimension: a physical act of recognition that while Christ in one sense is always with us, in another sense “the bridegroom is taken away” from us until his return at the end of time and that in the meantime we are in exile.

Today’s first reading (Isaiah 58:1-9a) reminds us that fasting - and by extension all forms of prayer and devotion - as an expression of interior penance fails without the exterior practice of justice and mercy.

May the Lord give us the grace to draw ever closer to him through what we do within ourselves and beyond ourselves: in prayer and fasting as well as in word and deed.