Tag: fasting

Secrets Of The Saints: The Forgotten Spiritual Power Of Fasting 

Secrets Of The Saints: The Forgotten Spiritual Power Of Fasting 

*Secrets of the Saints*

*The Forgotten Spiritual Power of Fasting.* 



There’s a powerful spiritual discipline recommended by Our Lord Jesus Christ in Scripture and practiced by all the saints, but that seems to have been mostly forgotten in our day: fasting.



Fasting, or the intentional abstinence of food for a period of time, is hugely counter cultural. In a culture where physical pleasure is the highest good, why would we intentionally withhold something as good, satisfying, and necessary as food?
The fact we need food so much is actually precisely why fasting is so powerful. To temporarily withhold something so necessary for life forces us to focus on spiritual things that are even more important. As Christ himself says in Scripture, “One does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4.4).

*Here are 10 quotes from the saints on why this is such an important spiritual practice:* 

1) *St. Augustine* 


“Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself.”


2) *St. Peter Chrysologus* 


“Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.”


3) *St. Jane Frances Chantal* 


“God hides the prize of eternal glory in our mortifications and in the victory of ourselves, which we always strive for with great gentleness.”


4) *St. Isaac the Syrian*

 

“When a man begins to fast, he straightway yearns in his mind to enter into converse with God.”


5) *St. Gregory the Great*

 

“It is impossible to engage in spiritual conflict, without the previous subjugation of the appetite.”


6) *St. John Chrysostom* 


“Fasting is the support of our soul: it gives us wings to ascend on high, and to enjoy the highest contemplation! […] God, like an indulgent father, offers us a cure by fasting.”


7) *St. Francis De Sales* 


“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.”


8) *St. Catharine of Sienna* 


“Without mortifying the taste, it is impossible to preserve innocence, since it was by the indulgence of his appetite that Adam fell.”


9) *St. Basil* 


“Penance without fasting is useless and vain; by fasting [we] satisfy God.”


10) *St. Alphonsus De Ligouri* 


“He that gratifies the taste will readily indulge the other senses; for, having lost the spirit of recollection, he will easily commit faults, by indecent words and by unbecoming gestures. But the greatest evil of intemperance, is that it exposes chastity to great danger.”

​19 Things You Might Consider Giving Up This Lent And Beyond:

​19 Things You Might Consider Giving Up This Lent And Beyond:

Fear: God is on my side. In Him I am more than a conqueror. (See Romans 98)


The need to please everyone
: I can’t please everyone anyway. There is only one I need to strive to please.

Envy: I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

Impatience: God’s timing is the perfect timing.

Sense of entitlement: The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.

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​Pope Francis Proposes These 15 Simple Acts of Charity As Concrete Manifestations of Love:

​Pope Francis Proposes These 15 Simple Acts of Charity As Concrete Manifestations of Love:

 1. SMILE. A Christian is always cheerful

 2. Say THANK YOU for little things (even if you don’t have to).

 3. Remind others how much you LOVE them.

 4. GREET with joy the persons you see every day.

 5. LISTEN to other people’s stories without prejudice, and with love.

6. STOP to help. Pay attention to whoever needs you. 

7. Try to RAISE the spirits of people around you.

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​Five Things To Do During Lent

​Five Things To Do During Lent

Do you love Lent? I do, but a lot of folk don’t have all that much affection for the season. Many Christians have come to think of it in negative terms; however, Lent is not about hair shirts, solemn countenances and the like. Rather, it is a positive, strengthening, lovely spiritual experience, and if you want to grow in your love of God and your neighbor, then Lent is for you! Here are five things to do with single-mindedness this Lent which, if you do them, will give you a clearer vision of the Risen Christ, come Easter.

1. FASTING & ABSTINENCE
The biggest problem we moderns have with fasting and abstinence is one of confusion; that is, we don’t really understand them. So, here’s a simplified elucidation of fasting and abstinence: Abstinence lowers the quality of food (usually by not eating meat) and fasting lowers the quantity, and usually means not more than a light breakfast, one full meal, and one half meal daily each fast day.

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