I know it's early, Lent is still a few weeks away, but I've started thinking about what I'm doing this year. It use to be the practice of the Church to fast for 40 days (Sundays, of course, not included), which involved having 1 full meal a day, and 2 "snacks" as such. No meat was allowed, and they use to ban dairy products, but that was changed. That is basically what I do each Friday, and this year I thought I would try it during Lent. I absolutely hate fasting, and I thought that is all the more reason to do it.
Is anyone else doing anything like this? If I know others are doing, it might inspire me more to do it.
Those are some great ideas! I recall Mother Angelica talking once about Lenten sacrifices and saying that one doesn’t have to sacrifice just food (or even that) for a useful Lenten sacrifice. A sacrifice should be something that helps you grow in the Lord for having made the sacrifice to begin with.
Myself, I know I will limit certain pointless pastimes I enjoy a little too much, as well as get a handle on my propensity to use swears. When I fell away from the Faith, I had no reason to keep my language pure, so I’ve got some making up to do.
I will also sacrifice a little more time reading; my reading list of Catholic-related books needs some attention, so sacrificing some down time during Lent towards that end instead of pointlessness is one of my goals this year.
I gave up eating meat the past two Lents and plan to give it up again this Lent. I like this idea of fasting for 40 days! Snacks can be very healthy in the form of fruit and yoghurt.
I don’t eat mean on Fridays either. This Lent, I will be having seafood and dairy – but not that much seafood. I’m also giving up treats.
Thanks for posting that the practice of the Church was to fast for the 40 days. It’s inspiring because now it’s no longer hard for me to give up meat. God bless you.
I fast breakfast and don’t eat meat every Friday. During Lent I do a total fast. This year I’m going to give up Facebook and websites of religous orders because I really don’t need to be thinking about it at this point in my life. I may give up internet all together but I’m not sure how practical that would be. I’m still praying about it.
Fasting in and of itself is “giving up” something you enjoy. I personally find something that I truly enjoy. Carbonated beverages a few years ago. Tv three years ago. To me fasting is denying ourself something that typically gives us great pleasure. And, it has benefits. I gave up soda pop and lost 25 pounds. The year I gave up tv I read almost the entire Bible during the Lent period. Take the Lent timeframe and honor the sacrafice Christ made for all of us and use the period to help you grow closer the God.
I do a Lenten fast every year. I know that the church has gotten a little more lax on this but to me it helps to remind me that Christ was born, suffered, and died for us. In addition to fasting I also try to give up something that is difficult for me to give up. I try to make sure that it is something that would cause a little suffering although it could never make up for Christ suffering on the cross.
I agree - the point is to give up something that is difficult. For me, that is food. I think Lent is also a time to truly concentrate on the spiritual in a way that we don’t do during the rest of the year, so it probably means not indulging in “pointless” past times, like playing games on the internet.
As far as “make up for Christ suffering.” I don’t think that is the point, nor something we should even try to do. It is a matter of joining our suffering to Christ’s suffering. We never take away from Christ’s suffering, but as Paul said, we “make up for what is lacking.” That’s a difficult concept, but I think it means, for instance, those suffering with cancer joining that suffering to Christ, who did not suffer with cancer.
I hear what you’re saying, and I appreciate the thought behind it. However, since a 40-days fast was actually required by the Church at one time, I don’t think it’s something that needs to be okayed by a confessor. I remember the days when it was required to fast from midnight on before receiving communion, no food or water. I actually did that for my first communion in 1963, and we had a wonderful communion breakfast after Mass. Now, because there is only a 1-hour fast required, and it doesn’t even include fasting from water, the kids don’t have anything like that anymore. But for those who would decide to do that, I don’t think you would need an okay, since the entire Church was actually required to do it for hundreds of years. I believe the same is true for doing a 40-day fast for Lent.
Yes, I do fast throughout Lent, except for Sundays and Solemnities. I also abstain from meat on Fridays. For Fridays I have seafood and/or eggs and/or dairy products.
BUT…and this is important…I cleared all this first with my spiritual director, and second with my Physician. I am age 65.:blushing:
Also, I observe the guidelines of the Confraternity Of Penitents. I do not fast to the point of physical or mental impairment. Never. Our bodies are Temples Of The Holy Spirit, not to be damaged.:dts:
Do I feel hungry at times? Yes, but you learn to live with it, knowing that being hungry is not the same as starving. I follow my Physician’s instructions on healthy eating, to include 8 ounces of protein per day. :tsktsk:
I am helped by living alone with three cats. No family member has to put up with fasting just because I do. My cats, of course, do not fast. I value an unpunctured skin:rolleyes:
I think fasting for forty days would probably land me in the hospital. My doctors tell me I'm too thin and I've been trying for years to put on weight. Should I attempt the fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? What are the Church's rules for people who have problems with being under-weight? (I'm a catechumen ... this is my first Lent.)
I think it would be a very worthwhile challenge to attempt the stricter fasting of the Eastern churches, as you describe. Been fasting and abstaining as taught in my childhood, never really stopped, but if something happens and we end up having meat on a Friday we don’t obesess about it–like tonight, planned tilapia but got home late and did leftovers, including beef stew and pizza. We make a serious effort to fast and abstain on weekdays of Lent, however, although I have had to make concessions to diabetes. Just sticking on the diabetes diet is a fasting discipline, the list of what I can no longer eat is pretty intimidating. The secret I learned from the life of Matt Talbott is to give it up prayerfully and intentionally, in a spirit of fasting.
i am trying now to fast from laziness, however you would describe that.
I agree. And as for age; (I’m getting up there but I don’t buy into the myths) it’s been proven that people who eat less increase their longevity. Fasting, in our situation isn’t starving yourself as is fasting in eastern religions when you eat absolutely nothing. A protein powder milkshake is quite a lot of protein. Vitamin supplements help supply nutrients. Fish is a great source of protein. By definition, our fasting is a matter of eating less than what is considered to be normal and not endangering one’s health. Discussing fasting in this forum before actually beginning it is not, to my way of thinking, “revealing” one’s fast. That would be if someone came up and said, “I fasted all day”, or something like that…as a boast. This is simply discussing the concept and throwing ideas around. It’s not letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. Lent hasn’t started yet and we may do something else.
(My hat is off to the person who gave up television.)