Fasting and Feasting

Challenge: Make a special sacrifice to unite yourself more to the suffering Christ today.
by Father Jeffery Bowker, LC | Source: Catholic.net


July 4, 2009
Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time 

Matthew 9:14-17
The disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved."

Introductory Prayer:  Lord, I come to you in this meditation ready to do whatever it is you ask. Left to myself, I often take the easy and convenient path; yet I know the way of a Christian is through the narrow gate. In you I find the reason to abandon the easy path for a more perfect mission of love. I’m ready to learn the meaning of your command: “Follow me.”
 
Petition: Lord, help me to value the place of fasting in my life.

1. Creating Hunger for God
Fasting has its place in the life of holiness. Like the precept of poverty, fasting is the purposeful privation of a natural good to make the soul more sensitive to the supernatural goods of the Spirit. It is the silencing of the flesh in order to feel more intensely a spiritual hunger for God. Just as the Israelites had to grow hungry in the desert before they could worthily receive the bread from heaven in the gift of manna, so in our life there is place to put aside the distractions of what is good for that which is holy. In the practice of self-denial, we will find the spiritual receptivity of a new wineskin that will not burst when, through prayer, God pours in the new wine of the Kingdom.

2. Respecting the End
The practice of piety is not an end in itself. Rather, it is oriented to the ultimate end of the spiritual life: union with Christ. Christ must unweave  John’s disciples from an excessive rigor in their spiritual life, one that has lost God as its proper object. Spiritual pride can grow subtly in persons who take upon themselves forms of devotion or asceticism for their own sakes. In all things, even in the spiritual, we have to look at the end. If some spiritual practice does not lead us to live God’s will and his presence in a more loving manner, then it is of no use to us.

3. Fasting and the Passion
Lead to Spiritual Feasting  The moment of the Passion will come; the days of mourning will arrive. The fasting that the disciples lived and that the Church lives is one of uniting ourselves to the suffering Christ. Self-denial in order to do God’s will becomes a participation in Christ’s Redemption. Christ’s closest friends will want to share his sorrow, suffer his privations and make his holocaust visible to others through their sacrificial way of life. May I be ready to live union with Christ, embracing periodic acts of self-denial and the ongoing crosses of my duty for love of souls and his Kingdom.

Conversation with Christ:  Lord, help me practice true devotion and sacrifice. Renew in me a holy desire to seek you above all things, so that all I possess in my life is ordered to serving you better and glorifying your name.

Resolution:  I will make a special sacrifice to fulfill a duty of my state in life, uniting myself more to the suffering Christ. 



Click Here to Donate Now!

Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.




SHARE LINK


0

Comments

Post a Comment
Write a comment on this article

required
Name
required
Email required (will not be published)
required Country
Image
Comment 


Catholic.net Poll


Last week
Last month
Few months ago
Last year
Few years ago
Cannot remember
Have not confessed
   See Results
   Poll Archive




Most Popular