First Sunday of Lent -- The Importance of Fasting: Lent means being hungry with Jesus
"The observance of Lent is the very badge of Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should men grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe." (Benedict XIV)
During Lent, we join Jesus in the desert -- and in his fast, he was hungry. If we go through Lent with rarely or never being really hungry, then we have failed at Lent because we have failed to be truly united to Jesus.
In our Catholic Tradition, Lent is a time of real fasting. 1,000 years ago, our Catholic ancestors would abstain from meat and eggs and dairy on every day of Lent, and fast (only one meal with no snacks) on every day except Sundays and Solemnities. Even just over 100 years ago, Lent meant no eggs, meat, dairy on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and fasting (one meal with two very small snacks) on every day except Sundays and Solemnities.
How can we claim the name "Catholic" if our own Lenten disciplines are as nothing compared to the Tradition and, even more, if they do nothing to bring us to union with Christ in his hunger?
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