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Fasting With Our Entire Bodies

Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies.
St John Chrysostom

When we are fasting, many of us focus on denying ourselves food.  And while that is the point of fasting — to deny ourselves the normal amount of food — St. John Chrysostom, whose feast day we celebrate today, would like us to extend our fasting beyond eating.  He wants us to fast from sin. He wants us to fast with her eyes, ears, feet and hands.

Fasting with our eyes means that we do our best to look at others with purity (rather than lust) and charity (rather than judgment).

Fasting with our ears means that we refuse to listen to gossip.

Fasting with our mouths means that we speak respectfully of others and refrain from swearing and complaining.

Fasting with our hands means that we use our hands to help, rather than hurt, others.

Fasting with our feet means that we fast from laziness.

Let’s continue to fast with regard to food, but let’s also do our best to fast with our entire body, so that that our entire body can be a gift to God.

Today let us pray and fast for all the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, for all the community intentions and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Holy Mary, pray for us!  Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!  St. John Chrysostom, pray for us!


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