A couple more questions concerning "fasting"

Fasting requires one moderate (?) meal and two smaller collations that together do not make up in quantity to the main meal. Hmmm, but can you eat meat at those collations? On fast days that are also abstinance, is it OK for the snacks to have eggs, cheese, and fish?

How about the way my current lifestyle is shaping up. Dinner at 11 AM, Supper at 7 PM, at work. That’s it. No third snack, no other snacks. The 7 PM supper is always smaller then the 11 AM dinner. I am allowed only 30 minutes at work for that 7 PM supper

In today’s case, supper will be a 5 ounce can of chunk chicken from VALLEY FRESH, and a 15 ounce can of soup from CAMPBELLS, Italian Wedding with meatballs and spinach. (I do not regard eating spinach a penance)

Would this two meals a day routine be considered “fasting”?

I wouldn’t get into such technicalities outside the days of obligation as a newcomer to the faith. If you hunger between the meals and offer this in reparation for sins against Jesus prayerfully, then it’s fasting enough.

The difference between fasting and dieting is prayer. I bet that many gals you know “fast” more than you, but probably don’t offer it with prayer to the Lord. :wink:

I for one started skipping lunch everyday about a year ago. But my body got used to it and it became a bit of a habit and I didn’t offer prayers along with it. Came Lent and the days of obligation to fast and and they passed by as any other day. I was outraged that I couldn’t offer my hunger together with Our Lord’s on the cross!

A change was necessary, so I started to skip lunch on Tuesdays and Fridays, the days when the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are said. Then skipping lunch started to “hurt”, with my stomach aching for food, reminding me why I was skipping lunch and calling me to prayer, much like an alarm clock. :slight_smile:

Later I found out that the traditional days of fasting are Wednesday and Friday, so I changed accordingly also to make sure that my days of fasting wouldn’t conflict with those days when we are obliged to fast.



I do notice a bit of hunger. But only a bit

From when I wake up (9 to 10 AM) until dinner at 11 AM or noon. Hunger from about 4 PM - 7 PM, when I have supper. Hunger from 10 PM - 1AM, when I go to bed. Not enough to make me weak, drowsy, or dizzy. Enough to make realize that I can be obsessive with food, and it is time to do something about it. And learn to enjoy what I do eat even more. That Grace before meals is becoming more meaningful.

Dear Andruschak, what Augustine spoke of is true. Sometimes food fasting can be somewhat unproductive.

There are many other ways to fast - giving up your computer during Lent, or television, keeping a silence by talking only when spoken to, giving up the comfort of your bed by sleeping on the floor, etc. etc.

Ideally whatever form of fasting you do should be done only with the knowledge of God. The idea is to curb the bodily appetites of your passions, thereby bringing you closer to God.

someone like me with health issues like diabetes, certain medications etc. should not fast at all. the strict medical diet I am on is fast enough, by like poster above says, prayer makes the difference. In my morning offering I follow Matt Talbott’s advice and offer up all the sacrifices and sufferings of the day to the Lord.

As a general rule of spiritual direction, one does not undertake fast, abstinence or other penitential practices beyond the standard practice of the Church, without permission from one’s confessor or spiritual director. Standard practice being what is ordained by law and custom–Friday abstinence, the manner of fasting prescribed for Lent etc., or any of the fasting disciplines of one’s religious order or secular institute, or connected with an approved devotion, such as consecration to Mary etc.

Of much more relevance than making up disciplines is what classic monastic direction calls “the food thought.” What is eaten, the amount, the quantity, the quality, why you are eating, when you are eating, with whom you are eating, when to stop eating. The disciple pays conscious attention to each of these, does not eat mindlessly, eats in community when that is appropriate, appreciates and gives thanks for whatever is received, prepares and serves food with love as if Christ himself is being served, does not eat anything detrimental to health, and so forth. In the same way pay attention to hunger, as it brings its own spiritual message as well as physical demands.

When we fast under self-imposed guidelines we run the risk of being tempted by pride, or of falling into scrupulosity if we have that tendency, that is why spiritual direction from a personal director or from a classis spiritual writer in the mind of the Church is so essential. It is easy to lose sight of the reason for fasting or any spiritual discipline: fostering humility and obedience.

Annie raised a good point: in no way should fasting hurt your health or even your body.

Sure, the body can take a little hunger and it’s pleasant to God when accompanied by prayer. But if it gives you, say, a headache or stomach problems, it should be stopped, for that day at least.

She also points out that under spiritual direction the fruits will be more abundant and more certain, rightfully so. As a convert by the grace of God, you should go a little more slowly or at least try to seek a priest’s advice. Don’t you burn your fervor too quickly and curb it for the sake of the Lord, so that you don’t grow used to such highs and become resented when the Lord will test you with dryness.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.