In the course of the centuries, our fasting discipline has undergone numerous and radical changes.
Today, unfortunately, the observance of Lent is but mere formalism, reduced to abstinence on certain days and without any stress on one’s spiritual growth or the amending of one’s life style.
It is urgent that we return to the pristine spirit of the Great Fast which is so badly needed in our materialistic world. Listed below are suggested practices that may be used along with your usual Lenten family traditions of sacrifices and penances.
Corporal or External Practices:
Take less of what you like and more of what you dislike at meals today.
Take nothing to drink between meals.
Do not use seasoning on your food today.
Do not use any sweeteners with your food or drinks today.
Take nothing to eat between meals today.
Take only one helping of each item at meals today.
Avoid listening to the radio at all today.
Say an extra Rosary.
Avoid any TV or videos; instead read the Passion of Christ in your Bible or missal.
Spiritual or Internal Fast Practices:
Don’t do any unnecessary talking; instead, say little ejaculations throughout the day.
Avoid using the phone today.
Exercise your patience today in all things.
Don’t make any complaints today.
Restrain any anger, and go out of your way to be kind to the person who caused your anger.
Don’t be distracted with someone else’s business.
When asked to do something extra, do so joyfully.
Avoid any gossip today; instead say an extra Rosary to overcome this great fault.
Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.