Fasting, broadly speaking is the voluntary avoidance of something that is good, which is also the meaning of the word Sacrifice. When Catholics talk about fasting, we normally mean restricting the food that we eat. We can fast between meals, by not eating snacks, or we can engage in a complete fast by abstaining from all food. The English word breakfast, in fact, means the meal that breaks the fast.
While fasting takes the form of refraining from eating, it is primarily a spiritual exercise designed to discipline the body so that we can concentrate on more important things. Recall the Gospel of the 8th Sunday in ordinary Time when Jesus reminds us not to be concerned about what we are to eat or drink. That is why fasting is usually mentioned along with prayer and almsgiving (or charity). By controlling the cravings of the body, we free our minds and hearts for prayer. And by refraining from eating, we free up food or money that we can give to those less fortunate than ourselves. The three spiritual disciplines go hand in hand, and the Church calls us to practice all three together, especially during the season of Lent.
In union with the parish community of St. Thomas of Villanova we have adopted FASTING as a theme for this Lenten Season. Week One calls us to consider fasting as a way of celebrating the Lenten Season. Here are some suggested ways to fast throughout Lent. This is why we FAST!
1st Week of Lent (March 9th): Fasting from Food and Drink
2nd Week of Lent (March 16th): Fasting from Food and Drink
3rd Week of Lent (March 23rd): Fasting from Entertainment
4th Week of Lent (March 30th): Fasting from Entertainment
5th Week of Lent (April 6th): Fasting from Technology
6th Week of Lent/Holy Week (April 13th): Fasting from Technology
Daily Mass in Corr Chapel 12:05 PM—Monday through Friday & 5:30 PM beginning Monday March 10. Every Thursday at 12:10 PM in the Law School Chapel.
Sunday Masses 5:30, 7:00 and 9:00 PM in the church.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the Monastery Chapel from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Monday 3/10, 3/24, 4/7 and Thursdays—3/20 & 4/3 after the 5:30 PM with Benediction at 8:30 PM in Corr Chapel.
Rosary weekdays at 5:00 PM in Corr Chapel
Sacrament of Reconciliation Every Tuesday & Wednesday at 3:30 to 4:30 PM and every Wednesday evening during Lent from 6:30 to 7:30 PM in the Church or by appointment in Campus Ministry beginning March 12.
Stations of the Cross every Wednesday during Lent at 7:30 PM in the Church beginning March 12 – April 2 we will celebrate the Living Stations of Cross by John Paul II beginning at 7:00 PM on the Church Steps.
Lent 2014—Daily Reflections by Our Villanova Community
printed copies available in Corr Chapel, or digitally here.
In the spirit of St. Augustine who urged his followers to search for God together, consider next Sunday's readings which repeatedly call us to holiness. Yet, in what does holiness consist? The first reading from Leviticus tells us “You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart…Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against anyone.” Then in the gospel we hear the familiar commands, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Are these commandments describing what holiness looks like? Perhaps holiness involves gradually relinquishing the resentment that leads to an interior cycle of blame, hatred, and revenge. Perhaps holiness is the ongoing practice of abandoning the self-righteousness that distorts our perception, such that our sisters seem to be enemies and our neighbors, persecutors. Where is resentment or self-righteousness interfering with our relationships today?
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