I am in RCIA at this time and wanted to know the rules of fasting during lent. When should this occur and what is the definition of fasting at this time. God Bless
according to Canon laws, abstinence and fast are observed on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. Also, during Lent, you are required to abstain from meat on fridays. there are some exceptions (pregnancy, sickness…) But know that it is up to your bishop to determine the more precise observance of fasting.
I looked up a more recent definition of fasting for you. EWTN said: “The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal in quantity. Such fasting is obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fast is broken by eating between meals and by drinks which could be considered food (milk shakes, but not milk). Alcoholic beverages do not break the fast; however, they seem contrary to the spirit of doing penance.” ewtn.com/faith/lent/fast.htm
With all due respect to him, Mr. Donovan’s assessment of the Church’s teaching on fasting is incorrect. “One meal and two smaller meals are permitted, if necessary, to maintain one’s strength,” is the more traditional definition of what the Church expects of us for fasting. That means that unless you must take food, you should not, and it sets the parameters at one meal and two smaller ones as the maximum you may consume to maintain your strength and remain fasting.
This traditional definition of the expectation has become perverted in our “do the bare minimum” world to mean that you can have three meals while fasting so long as the combined consumption of two of them does not exceed the amount consumed at the largest of the three. That’s not fasting, that’s about what I eat in a day. Nothing penitential there.
The universal law of the Church regarding fasting and abstinence is laid out in the 1966 Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini by Pope Paul VI.
You might also find the following resources on fasting helpful. They address not only the “letter” of the law on fasting, but the “spirit” of the law and theology and Scripture behind the idea of fast, too.
Fasting and abstinence from meat is the traditional way that the Church has obliged her members to remember and express their solidarity with the poor and hungry.
What was also at stake was the Church’s prophetic integrity, its claim to solidarity with the poor. Considered from this perspective, compulsory fasting and abstinence, practiced regularly, routinely and in common, was a recognition by the Church that identification with the poor and hungry, with those who know themselves to be needy before God because they were needy among men, is not an option for Catholics, but a necessary and definitive sign of our redemption, as essential in its way as as attendance at Mass referring to the Eucharistic fast - japhy]. The Church has always linked personal asceticism and the search for holiness with this demand for mercy and justice to the poor—the Lenten trilogy of prayer, fasting and almsgiving is fundamental, structural. In abandoning real and regular fasting and abstinence as a corporate and normative expression of our faith—by making it optional—the Church forfeited one of its most eloquent prophetic signs. There is a world of difference between a private devotional gesture, the action of the specially pious, and of the prophetic witness of the whole community, the matter-of-fact witness, repeated week by week, that to be Christian is to stand among the needy. (“Faith of Our Fathers” by Eamon Duffy, p. 182)
I wanted to increase my fasting, and I’m wondering what’s the longest people here have voluntarily fasted for? Thanks.
What happens if you for a moment forgot and ate some meat on a Friday, during Lent?Is this considered an inintential break of the law of abstinence, therefore not a sin?:shrug:
If I drink water in between meals, is this considered breaking the fast? I know it’s not considered breaking the Eucharistic fast, but what about the Lenten fast?