Today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales. (It’s not a solemnity so we are free to fast!) His quotes below show us that he was a great advocate of fasting.
St. Francis de Sales said, “If you are able to fast, you will do well to observe some days beyond what are ordered by the Church, for besides the ordinary effect of fasting in raising the mind, subduing the flesh, confirming goodness, and obtaining a heavenly reward, it is also a great matter to be able to control greediness, and to keep the sensual appetites and the whole body subject to the law of the Spirit; and although we may be able to do but little, the enemy nevertheless stands more in awe of those whom he knows can fast. The early Christians selected Wednesday, Friday and Saturday as days of abstinence.”
Whether you have been fasting for weeks or years, we can all confirm there are so many benefits to the practice of regular fasting. Fasting helps us to distinguish between a need and a want; fasting helps us to increase in virtue. When we fast, we choose not to eat our regular meals, so this can help us to empathize with the poor and perpetually hungry. By fasting we can be good Samaritans when we fast for others’ intentions.
Lent will be coming in three weeks. How will we “step it up” during Lent? Perhaps we can choose to fast on one additional day during the week (as well as Wednesdays and Fridays). Some community members have shared with us that during Lent, they fast on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and that by doing so, it helps keep the continuity of the fast.
Others, like St. Francis de Sales and St. Faustina encouraged fasting on Saturdays.
Today, let us fast and pray for all the community intentions, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and for all those who are lonely, depressed or anxious.
Holy Mary, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray! St. Francis de Sales, pray for us!