I'm old enough to remember when you wished to receive the Eucharist,
you were required to fast from food from midnight the night before until you were Eucharist at Mass.
I'm also old enough to remember when we Catholics fasted everyday during Lent.
The requirements for fasting were similar to the ones today.
We Catholics were allowed to eat one full meal a day with two very small meals during the day.
There was no snacking allowed during the day.
We were also, as we are today, required to abstain from meat on Fridays.
Today, the fasting requirements are very easy.
We are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday with the same food requirements as previously stated. We are also required to abstain from meat on Fridays.
Even with these modified fasting requirements many of our clergy are downplaying the practice of fasting.
They are encouraging their parishoners to add a rosary a day or some other kind of practice rather than give something up. They call this positive.
We all need to increase our spiritual practices to come closer to God.
But, what's wrong with fasting?
Fasting is not negative.
When you fast, you give up some thing you desire and give it back to God.
You deny yourself a pleasure to please God and thank Him for His gifts to you.
I am past the required age for fasting.
I also have diabetes.
To fast from food is very difficult for me.
However, I have decided, that God willing, I will begin to fast from food again.
My fast will be a modified fast.
Once a week, I will not eat, but I will drink water, from the time I get up until lunch. At lunch I will break my food fast. I hope to do this every Wednesday and Friday during Lent.
If I am not able to fast this way, I will give up something I love.
I used to "fast" three times a week from Pop, popcorn and TV.
When I realized that these things no longer meant anything to me, I stopped that fast.
Perhaps, I was wrong. Fasting from these things became natural rather than difficult.
I want my fast to be somewhat difficult.
I have no intention of hurting my health.
I want to deny myself something for the love of God.
So, what are you doing for Lent?
Will you be fasting?
If not, why not?
I'm just curious.