Lenten Fasting

Lenten Fasting

Along with prayer and almsgiving, the practice of fasting is a pillar of Lent.

On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics are required to eat only one full meal and two smaller meals that do not add up to a full meal. Snacking between meals should also be eliminated.

Catholics often also give up a particular item, habit, or comfort for the duration of Lent, depriving themselves of something good to focus on the greater good.

Catholics are also encouraged to fast, make sacrifices, and perform other penitential practices throughout the year.

The emphasis of Christian fasting, particularly during Lent, should be focused on turning away from sin and turning toward God.

A deeper meaning behind fasting:

A better understanding of why we fast during Lent:

The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1438

Recognizing what we have little control over:

Offering our hunger as a prayer to God:

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Matthew 6: 16-18

Fasting during Lent is not like making New Years Resolutions:

Setting the things of the world apart for God:

Penance therefore—already in the Old Testament—is a religious, personal act which has as its aim love and surrender to God: fasting for the sake of God, not for one’s own self. Such it must remain also in the various penitential rites sanctioned by law. When this is not verified, the Lord is displeased with His people: “Today you have not fasted in a way which will make your voice heard on high…. Rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the Lord your God.”

Pope Paul VI, Paenitemini, February 17, 1966

Putting away our sins and growing closer to Jesus:

Focusing on conversion and what truly satisfies us:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

God created it all:

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