Catholic Lent Homily Series: The Merit of Fasting and Abstinence
In our first homily in our series for lent we are reminded of that we are great debtors to God because of the multitude of our sins and are exhorted to fasting and abstinence. We are reminded that we also gain greater merit and consequently a reward in heaven for cooperation with the divine mandate of penance. The faithful are exhorted though to especially attend Church to pray and spend time with God rather than pursue worldly attractions.
Reflection of Catholic Homily
It is useful to reflect that during lent that the legal minimums for fasting and abstinence have gradual been been reduced for the faithful since ancient times. One does not need to go back to the primitive church to find a time where all of the faithful (health permitting) fasted the entire period of lent (save Sundays) and did not eat flesh meat (including Sundays).
It seems rigorous to encourage that type of fasting on its face. But consider the fact that their are constant fade diets, some municipal governments now pushing “Meatless Mondays”, and not to mention endless medicinal schemes to lose weight. These are just a few examples of things the world does to fill in the void that has been left by the abandonment of religious fasting.
But I am afraid that many Christians, especially when they have health, strength, and plenty of this world’s goods, have really very little wish to give them up, in order to pass, even could they do so at once, to those joys which the heart of man cannot conceive. No, their treasure is in this world; all their idea of happiness is founded on the pleasures which they have had, are having, or hope to have in it. Their treasure is here, and, as our Lord says, their heart is here too. Transcript
A genuine smile of the spirit of Christ is more valuable than the Vaseline coated teeth of a runway model, because in a smile that bears Fasting with patience is a man who possess both the spirit of Jesus here and inheritance in Gods kingdom.
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Music used under attribution license
Kyrie Elesion Giovanni Animuccia: Missa Victimae Paschali Laudes to The Tudor Consort
Image edited from image in the Public Domain
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