Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Why do your disciples not fast?"

Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?"
-- Mt 9:14-17

The fourth precept ("You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.
-- CCC 2043

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).
-- CCC 1438

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