By Cass Hooker, Director of Evangelization
Fasting is a discipline of our Church that helps us to enter more deeply into the experience of this special season. Fasting means that those from 18 to 59 year of age are asked to have only one full meal. Some food may be taken at other meal times but should be less than one full meal. Liquids may be consumed at any time but this discipline does not allow for snacking between meals. We are asked to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Abstinence is the absence of meat. The Church considers meat to be chickens, cows, sheep and pigs. Birds are also considered meat. Technically, the juices, sauces or gravies from these is permitted although admittedly made from meat. Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday as well as all the Fridays of Lent.
Now having said the letter of the law, let’s consider the spirit of the law. As Catholics growing in our faith and preparing for the Easter celebration, we are invited, as a result of our fasting or abstaining, to reflect on Jesus as we skip a meal or downsize our lunch. When we have shrimp on Friday instead of a hamburger, how is Jesus more present in prayer through this choice? May we feel called to a more significant fast? May we abstain from meat on Wednesdays of Lent in addition to Fridays? Of course, if we find we are moving closer to Jesus because of this discipline.
Post by Cass Hooker