Greetings my dear friends,
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness...” Luke 4:1-2
The pillars of Lent that we heard about on Ash Wednesday are: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. These are pillars that we can live the rest of the year as well, not just during Lent.
“Fasting is an ancient spiritual practice. It is not unique to Christianity. All major religions recognize the value of fasting. During Lent, we fast and abstain from meat on certain days. But we also fast by the common practice of ‘giving something up for Lent.’ When we give up something – something important, something that functions as either a crutch or a pleasure in our lives – we make a sacrifice. This sacrifice helps us in many ways”:
It is penitential, a way to express sorrow for our sins. It teaches us that we don’t need those things to be happy.
God alone is our happiness. It is a building-block in learning spiritual self-discipline, preparing us for greater sacrifices we will be called to make further down the road.
It is a way of expressing solidarity, individually and as a whole Church, with the poor of this world.
Another key word along with fasting is: Sacrifice. “Jesus showed us that sacrifice is at the core of authentic love.” Through fasting and sacrifice, we are called to open ourselves to the presence of God in our lives and allow Him to work in our lives and hearts in a special way.