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Saturday, 18 October 2014

On Fasting

Recently, I have been thinking about questions readers have asked me about fasting.

It is dangerous to fast excessively and dangerous never to fast.

Check out what type of fasting you should do with your spiritual director.

The early Church fasted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a custom kept in some Eastern Rites.

I know some Latin Rite Catholics who abstain from meat on Wednesday and Friday.

But, one must be sensible about fasting. Sometimes, God does not want us to rely on outward signs of mortification.

Inward signs can be not speaking in a group discussion, holding back one's opinion on Church matters, letting someone else lead even if your gifts are better.

Fasting from criticism or from sadness could also take the place of food fasting.

Americans eat too much and too often compared with Europeans. Greed and gluttony are huge problems. I see few fat people here in Malta and when I do, they turn out to be English or American tourists.


But, if one decides to fast, please ask a priest for advice. Sometimes, for many reasons, we should not be fasting.

One can fall into self-deceit and delusion about excessive penances. Having said that, all of us should be doing some mortification.

Zeal without guidance could be the sins of pride and self-deception. Satan can actually deceive persons concerning material penances which are excessive. In fact, this same deception is that connected to those who follow after false seers. Pride, Gnosticism, Apostasy are all connected. Fasting also must be for a purely objective purpose, such as for the Pope intentions. Fasting means nothing without spiritual discipline.