Brothers and sisters:
Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies
so that you obey their desires.
And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin
as weapons for wickedness,
but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life
and the parts of your bodies to God
as weapons for righteousness.
For sin is not to have any power over you,
since you are not under the law but under grace. Roman 6:12
Living a life of virtue and righteousness is not easy. It takes work. It takes prayer. It takes grace. It takes fasting. We cannot live a life of virtue on our own. We need the graces of the Sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation). We need to spend time in Adoration. We need God’s graces to be virtuous. St. Paul’s Reading to the Romans above reminds us that we must not let sin reign over our bodies. We must not let sin have any power over us.
We all have this tendency to sin. Most of us have learned that when we give in to sin, the sin becomes worse and thus, we become slaves to that sin.
Daily, we make choices: prayer or television; reading Scripture or social media, giving in to anger or being patient. TV and social media are not evils, but if one is constantly engaged in them and not following their duty or responsibilities, it can become a poor choice and may lead to sin.
This is why fasting helps us with virtue. Practicing self-denial helps us to avoid sin instead of giving in to it. Practicing self-denial helps us to increase in virtue. We can practice self-denial even on days we are not fasting. Instead of taking a second helping of food, we can push the plate away. Instead of having dessert, we can have a piece of fruit. Instead of spending a lot of time watching TV, we can go to our rooms and read Scripture or pray a Rosary.
None of us are perfect and we sometimes fail in our attempts to be virtuous. If we fail, we can always return to God and go to Confession. It’s easy to see this message illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son who squandered his father’s money, then realized the wrong he did and returned to his father. We can all be like the prodigal son. We can all return to the Father, no matter what wrong we have done in our lives.
Today let’s pray and fast for all the community intentions, for the Holy Father, for all the suffering souls in the world and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Holy Mary, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!