Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Fasting is one of the hallmarks of Lent. When one thinks of Lent, the mind is automatically taken to consider this item of fasting. Fasting is defined as “a form of penance that imposes limits on the kind or quantity of food or drink. From the first century Christians have observed fasting days of precept, notably during the season of Lent in commemoration of Christ’s passion and death.”
The world encourages fasting for many different reasons. Perhaps it is because of blood work that the doctor needs, or perhaps it is because one is trying to lose weight. For the Christians, fasting isn’t practiced for any earthly purposes or reasons. It is practiced because we are attempting to unite ourselves to the passion of the Lord. We practice fasting not for any earthly gain or human praise, but for supernatural reasons.
The more we feed ourselves with food, possessions, human praise, lusts, the more we become attached to the ways and attractions of this world. We lose sight of Heaven and become enchanted with the present. A present that will surely pass away.
In order to maintain our freedom, and our relationship with God, we are called to fast. We are called to follow in the Savior’s footsteps and carry our crosses. Becoming a saint isn’t easy. The Lord did not come upon earth to make becoming a saint easy. Christ came in order to make becoming a saint possible.
How much trust and confidence has the Lord put into us! He has given to each of us the gifts, virtues, and graces needed to become a saint. The rest he has left to us, to our freedom, and to our response. Without practicing fasting – or prayer or almsgiving – then it becomes impossible for us to recognize this, because we are preoccupied with the world. Fasting reminds us that our homeland is not here, but in the life to come.
These last two weeks of Lent are particularly associated with the Passion of the Lord. If you haven’t done much fasting up to this point – whether it is from food, entertainment, or some other fast – the Church is encouraging you to do so now. The more we unite ourselves to Christ, and recognize that anything good in life is worth suffering for, the more likely we will actually become saints. Pray each day to become that saint that God has called each of us to be, and may we recognize that the process in doing so begins with the Cross of our Savior.