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To: All
March 9, 2007

Almsgiving, Fasting, Prayer

Fasting is an ancient disciples long recognized as a way of opening oneself more fully to the presence of God. It also activates the mind and spirit, directing energy there that would have been spent on digestion. It can also contribute to physical health, rinsing the body of dead and weak cells.

Down through the centuries Christians have practiced various forms of fasting from food and drink during Lent but never on Sunday because each Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection – a “little Easter.”

Some ways to fast are:
• Taking only one full meal a day, and reducing the other two meals to a very small amount, and/or
• No solid food between meals, and/or
• Meatless meals (referred to as “abstinence”) or
• No food or drink at all from sunrise to sunset, or
• Taking only water for 24 hours or longer.

The Church calls upon each person to do some fasting during Lent, adapted to the individual. Those who for health reasons can not fast from food, can “fast” from something else.

* * * * *

Since the days of the early Church, Friday has been a traditional day of fasting (and abstinence) because it is the day of the Lord’s death.

50 posted on 03/11/2007 9:28:28 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Friday – Second Week of Lent

And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into the sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?” (Mt. 26:51:54)

The Twelve do not do well in the place call Gethsemane. While Jesus was praying, they slept. When the arresting party arrived, one of their own was leading the way. Now, one of them draws a sword and wounds the high priest’s servant. Finally, in just a few moments, they will all abandon him.

This was a bad night for the Twelve.

The story has a good ending, not only for Jesus, but for the disciples, whose memory of Gethsemane was a bad one. Tradition has it that most of the Twelve died martyrs’ deaths, which is quite a turnaround. God’s grace can do that.

We can all think of a “Gethsemane” or two in our own lives – a bad time that we didn’t handle well.

Has it been set right? God’s grace can do that.

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.

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51 posted on 03/11/2007 9:31:04 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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