Tag Archives: fasting

The Definitive Post on Lenten Fasting

My brother-in-law and I talk often. He is a solid man who is raising his family right. I appreciate conversing with him about our traditional Catholic faith. Just a day ago, he mentioned the video I am including below as one I would find interesting.

X Station – Jesus is Made to Bear His Cross, Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Newark, NJ

Before I get to that video I would like to make a few notes. Until now, I have been reluctant to mention specifics of my own Lenten fast. Call it a stab at humility if you will. I am trying to avoid the snares set forth by the devil. I will however, in light of this video and if it helps anyone, mention a few of them. Since Ash Wednesday, I along with several of my nephews and other family members far and wide have been waiting until 3:00 PM to eat. When we eat, it is bread. And that is all. Other than two instances where I planned to eat a little more (such as this Laetare Sunday and a gala I must attend in Virginia), we have, by the grace of God, kept to that.

I mean this from the bottom of my heart – Praised be Jesus Christ! This is the most wonderful Lent I have ever lived. And I only share this because I know the Lord has given me the grace (as He promises to do). This should be impossible. I should be collapsed on the ground. I am a very active man. I am on the go all the time. I increased my workouts. I’m lifting heavier and doing more. And all I’m eating is bread once a day. Truly, God be praised! Seriously, men, if you lift weights or do anything active then you know what I mean. Also I’m 45 years old. I should be on the ground by that fact alone! But I want to ask each of you – especially the men reading this – to give it a shot. If it helps, my wife and mother-in-law are doing this too so no shame there, dudes. And I almost don’t want to go back to how I lived before vis. my eating habits.

On a sidenote, I have been Catholic my entire life. Mr. Plese as a convert truly typifies the best of the Catholic Church, in my opinion. I will offer a prayer for him and I enjoin you to as well.

Let us go forward toward Easter in penance and prayer. I feel so much more invigorated. Our Lord asks this of us.

At the end of the video, Plese asks, “If you are not willing to do this, who is?” I ask the same. Let us do this together and keep each other in prayer.

Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us!

The Priest’s Priest on Fasting

My mother-in-law found this crumpled piece of paper among her things this morning and sent me a picture. I am most appreciative of things like this. God saw fit to show me the wisdom of one of His saints today.

Simply beautiful!

St. John Vianney, pray for us!

Deny Thyself… It’s Lent

I’m trying my best to cast a more “spiritual” and prayerful glow on these pages during the 40 days. This one is short and if it seems like a repetition of several previous posts; that’s because it is.

The Collect for Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent:

Hear us, almighty and merciful God, and in Thy kindness grant us the graces of self-denial that lead to salvation.
Through Jesus Christ…

First of all, can you believe it’s already the third week?! Second, there it is again. The Church prayers in Holy Mass during these days that Almighty God, in His kindness, grant us the graces of self-denial. This self-denial leads to salvation. Get on board the fasting train if you haven’t already done so. Brothers and sisters, it is our Catholic duty.

Keep Keeping the Fast

I was looking for a topic to post tonight when I came across the following video.

I do not know these monks but I like what I’m hearing. I hate to beat a dead horse but I am convinced this is a missing key to growth in personal holiness. I’ve been paying careful attention to the orations at daily Mass and they bear witness to this.

We must be fasting during Lent. It isn’t easy. But it is not only worth it but also a command. The spiritual benefits I have already seen have caused me to wonder why I haven’t done this before. Also, I have a tendency to look to the early Church and see what they were doing and how I could imitate these our forefathers. They fasted every day of Lent. Many were also martyred.

The new crowd? Well, my mother-in-law and I had a conversation a few days ago about all the craziness in the world and in the Church. At one point she said, “They don’t want any remnants of the past.” Boy is she right. They hate tradition. We already know that. But they have to destroy every vestige of the past because the past is our heritage and our pillar. It is our foundation.

Why would anyone fast today? Seriously. I have heard people tell me, “The Church doesn’t really want us to fast anymore,” or “You’re overdoing it. Don’t you know we’re supposed to do something positive instead of just giving stuff up,” or “Hey man, it’s Sunday. That’s not part of Lent.” On that last point the implication is that Sundays are apparently for gluttony.

Let me issue a challenge. Since there is no prohibition of fasting; why not give it a shot. Men among this readership – be men. Go hard. Make it hurt. Do it for your sins. Do it for your wives and children. Unite the pain to the cross. It’s only for a short while. If you don’t notice the same things I’m noticing in my fast, then go back to your Ash Wednesday/Good Friday-one big and two small meal thing. What have you got to lose?

“Grant that our fasting may be beneficial to us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that by chastising our flesh we may obtain strength for our souls.”

Collect for Saturday, Second Week of Lent, copied from Divinum Officium

St. Bernadette, pray for us!

Friday, Second Week of Lent/Forty Holy Martyrs

I thought I’d get out ahead of the curve tonight (Thursday) and write a post about Friday. For the record, my Thursday was taken up with one of the true joys of my life. It was opening night for a production of Into the Woods that my teenage daughter was starring in at a local playhouse. I must mention that it was one of those usually dreadful “Jr.” versions of the show. This production, however, was quite well done. My daughter inherited her old man’s love of music, of singing, and of drama. Unfortunately, the theater world is thoroughly infested with sodomites. So when I (through St. Rita) found a theater group that was actually sane, I asked her if she wanted to audition. She’s actually the seasoned theater veteran already at 13, having appeared in shows for a while – a regular Helen Hayes. I told you I could be dramatic. For a month, my wife and I have taken turns driving her in rush hour traffic to three-hour rehearsals. We’ve heard the score countless times sung throughout the house. But tonight? Tonight was well worth it. I love to see my kids use the talents God gave them. And it brings a bit of a tear watching my baby using that talent and knowing that God used me to transmit that to her. But enough about that. There are four more performances so we’re not out of the woods yet. Also, I hear they’re staging Hair Jr. next. We might sit that one out.

The Passion of Our Lord, Stained Glass,
Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Newark, NJ

Friday of the Second Week of Lent

The orations for today are replete with the reminder to fast. Sidenote: I’ve been accused by some family members over the past few weeks of “doing more than what the Church wants us to do.” This is because they discovered I’ve been dramatically reducing my intake of food – you know, fasting. “That’s not what the Church asks of us, you know,” I have heard. True. I suppose what the Church literally asks is that you make sure to eat three meals on two days of the year. And there’s your NuFast. Look, I haven’t advertised what I’m doing. I haven’t told others that they need to do the same thing as me. I am reaping benefits (spiritual and physical) that I have never before known. Perhaps others might want to consider taking a similar path. It can be scary to give up food. I get it. But if one were to go back to the past, say, before 1965, one might see that fasting was a way of life for Catholics. Not convinced? Let’s look at the prayers, shall we?

The Collect for the Lenten Feria:

Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that with the sacred fast to purify us, we may with sincere hearts reach the coming feast.

Fasting purifies us. It cannot be simpler.

Commemoration of the Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste

This is also the feast of the Forty Holy Martyrs. These forty men were Roman soldiers in Sebaste. In the year 320, they were sentenced to death for refusing to renounce the faith. They were sentenced to exposure. The forty men were ordered onto a frozen pond, naked, while a warm bath tempted them on the shore. These guys were not afraid. In fact, they welcomed the opportunity that by one wretched night they would gain eternal life. They stripped themselves naked and ran onto the ice. At one point, one in their company gave in and went for the bath. A guard who had been keeping watch was moved to take his place and joined the remaining thirty-nine others in an icy, naked death. The original beast mode. Or as we the kids would say, badass.

My thoughts? I have a hard time stepping into the shower when the water is still only tepid and not hot. Terrible times produce great saints. And boy are the times terrible now…

The Collect for the Commemoration:

“Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we who know how courageously Your holy Martyrs have confessed the faith, may experience their goodness as they intercede for us with You.”

So there you have it as we approach the midpoint of Lent. Fasting is salutary. Armenian martyrs are hardcore.

Don’t forget to make the Stations part of your Lenten devotions.

Lord Jesus Crucified, have mercy on us!

Lent, Blessed Lent!

I have avoided sharing my particular Lenten “disciplines” for a number of reasons. I have a feeling in my gut that the second I start posting about what I am doing, giving up, adding in, etc., I will become victim to the sin of pride or the sin or judging others rashly or unjustly, or any number of sins. There are a few close family and friends with whom I have shared the plan. This is inevitable. For instance, I wouldn’t attempt to make any major change to my daily life without at least informing my wife and our children. And in that regard, it is my responsibility to teach all of them and to form them in the faith – including in the practice of the faith.

Suffice it to say that this Lent is a little different than in the past. For all of the evil afforded by the internet, there are some very good things too. I have seen such incredible writing and heard such beautiful sermons and talks on what a traditional Lenten observance looks like that it has inspired me this year to do more than I ever have. I won’t link to them here because there are truly many of them. I’m guessing we’re all visiting the same handful of sites every day anyway. But I know I am not alone in this as many of my friends and relatives (especially the men) have all mentioned similar things to me about fasting in particular. I believe this is a grace of God that we all appear to be converging on the same things around this time of year.

All that being said, I got a text this afternoon from a friend that said:

“Musings of a Trad Dad without a blog… Our Blessed Lord took upon Himself all the sins of the world… and my fat ass wants to curl up in a ball in the corner and whimper because I haven’t eaten for 24 hours. I suck. That’s all.”

After I laughed and asked his permission to use that text, he followed up with:

“I have to get to heaven because I am such a wuss, I won’t be able to deal with hell.”

So you see, the Lord goes out of His way to help us stay humble. Speaking of humility, Fr. Ripperger, in one of his talks, suggests that for a Lenten practice we ask our guardian angels to “interiorly humiliate us”. Thank you, Father, and NO. I want to live. My angel could do some serious damage with the things about me he could flash into my mind.

Only 39 more days to go.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

An Important Note on Fasting: Lent is Almost Here

The never-shy Ann Barnhardt recently posted a piece of reader mail on the question of fasting. I am linking to that post here and I encourage all to check it out if they have not already seen it. She lays it out there in pretty clear terms. Fasting is necessary and fasting should be strict. This is in stark contrast to the V2 Novie crowd who want us all “fat and happy”. Think about it. Our Lord explicitly instructed His followers to fast telling them that some demons can only be driven out by this practice. He set the example by fasting in the desert for 40 days. Catholics fasted for almost two millennia until we were inexplicably told that what constituted fasting was now three meals a day, two days a year, if you’re between 18 and 59, and if your poor wittle body can handle the wigor.

Look, obviously there are people who are going to have go about fasting slightly differently than everyone else. In a similar manner, though, there are always people who will be excused from the Sunday obligation if there is an outbreak of flu and their immune systems are compromised. But the Church never cancelled the Sunday obligation and locked all the churches because of them. Oh wait…

The point is, as I mentioned recently borrowing from a sermon I heard, we are under assault from many sides right now. We need to be the soldiers of Christ we were confirmed to be, pick up our armor and every weapon at our disposal (including and especially fasting), and fight to defend His bride, the Church.s

My we all have a fruitful (and difficult) Lent.

God bless us and the Virgin protect us!