To celebrate the first day of my vacation, I went to one of my favorite restaurants for breakfast. Before my food arrived, I took out Matthew Kelly's book, Rediscover Catholicism and started to read. Unfortunately, I was on the chapter about fasting. Oops!
In my early life as a newly baptized Catholic, I could fast with the best of them! It never bothered me to go without food all day. Then one year during Lent, I was having a hard time. I was dizzy and weak and I had to eat. I later found out I was pregnant with our daughter.
After her birth (and the next Lent arrived) I tried fasting again. I couldn't do it. I was disappointed, but apparently I’m in good company. I had read that Archbishop Fulton Sheen couldn't fast either and never had anyone who confessed to him fast for penance.
I learned in Matthew’s book that fasting is a form of discipline (something that our world today finds distasteful - no pun intended). We are denying the body to feed our soul. He talks about returning to the practice as a way to tame and train the body and not just for penance.
After I finished my breakfast and sat back to read more of the book, I thought about the other suggestions on different ways to fast. For instance, I could deny myself a favorite food for even one day or several. I could offer that up for my own sins or for someone else’s. It would be a strengthening of my own soul. It seems like a small thing, but it would be a start, especially if I did it every week on a particular day.
So that’s my plan. A little denial here, a little denial there. I’ll start right after my vacation.