Today being the day after Ash Wednesday, and the day before another day of Abstinence, I wanted to reflect a little on fasting. Of course, we have the example of Christ who did it and told us that the Church would do it after he was gone (Mt. 6:18, Mt. 9:15). We don't see it very often in Christianity (probably not at all among 99% of Protestants), but it helps us clear our mind to focus on God in prayer. It's been a wonderful blessing to me, and I'm hoping that everyone else who got to do it drew closer to God in some way. We should try to do it more often than just when required. Any thoughts or feelings on it?
You know, after a year (and especially after my Holy Week last year), I have only built on how much benefit I think fasting gives us. I also see a correction from last year, maybe it should have said "90%" of Protestants ;)
Seriously though, I highly suggest any religious person to try and fast more often. I was reading and discussing a little about the gospel reading yesterday. Many people think that the Gospel contradicts what we do on Ash Wednesday as Catholics. After all, Jesus tells us not to show other people that we fast or repent but just to do it in secret so that our reward will be in Heaven. This is one of those passages that is easily taken out of context by people. Looking at the message, Christ is warning us not to let that be the reason we are doing something. Don't do it for earthly glory or to feel "cool" or something. I think there are some who go to Ash Wednesday because they think that is when it is cool to be a Catholic. That's exactly the kind of thing I think Jesus is warning about here - and is the same problem we could have with wearing a cross or praying in public or carrying a Bible around with us. We have to make sure we are doing things for God and not to please other men - for people like that "have their reward".
Maybe I got a little off topic today....be sure to check out our first baby photo below :)