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Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Fat Tuesday Prayer
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Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for it is from your goodness that we have this day to celebrate on the threshold of the Season of Lent.

Tomorrow we will begin our fast of 40 long days. Today we feast. We thank you for the abundance of gifts you shower upon us. We thank you especially for one another. As we give you thanks, we are mindful of those who have so much less than we do. As we share these wonderful gifts together, we commit ourselves to greater generosity toward those who need our support.

Prepare us for tomorrow. Tasting the fullness of what we have today, let us experience some hunger tomorrow. May our fasting make us more alert and may it heighten our consciousness so that we might be ready to hear your Word and respond to your call.

As our feasting fills us with gratitude so may our fasting and abstinence hollow out in us a place for deeper desires and an attentiveness to hear the cry of the poor. May our self-denial turn our hearts to you and give us a new freedom for generous service to others. We ask you these graces with our hearts full of delight and stirring with readiness for the journey ahead. We ask them with confidence in the name of Jesus the Lord.

(Source)

18 comments:

del_button February 20, 2007 at 4:03 PM
Anonymous said...

What's the point of fasting...? Is it a commandment?

del_button February 20, 2007 at 5:23 PM
Moneybags said...

It is required by the Church established by Jesus Christ.

Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:18-20; Luke 5:33-35

Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29

del_button February 20, 2007 at 9:35 PM
Anonymous said...

i've always taken fasting to be a 100% voluntary action becuase theres no specific commandment commanding people today to fast. in the nt, it was done on an individual basis seemingly to get closer to god or to be put into a state of remembrance, or in the case of mat 17 and mark 9, as a way to harness faith and the power of prayer.

the verses you gave are good but again, theres no actual commandment to fast in any of them. the first three references are all talking about the same account. very sneaky of you. fasting was done as a means to mourn, being tradition of the time and all. but fasting being required? mmm, i'm not convinced this is true.

i can't help but think of pauls instructions on how to remember christ. 1 cor 15:27 and 28 talk about partaking of the bread and wine in remebrance of jesus. well, this isn't exactly fasting is it. see my point? remembrance is our duty today, not mourning like the disciples back in the day.

del_button February 20, 2007 at 9:45 PM
Moneybags said...

1 cor 15:27 and 28 refer to the bread and wine in the Eucharist.

The Church has the power (when He gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom) to declare faith and morals. The Church has decreed that we must fast on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday. It is Christ speaking through the Church. We must fast.

"The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast" (Matthew 9:15)

The Bridegroom is no longer on this Earth. We are to fast.

Check out this page for much information on Lent:

http://acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2006/02/everything-lent.html

del_button February 20, 2007 at 11:57 PM
Anonymous said...

but mat 9 is an observation about mourning, its not a commandment. if i said that when i die, people are going to cry, i'm not demanding that people should cry. i'm making a statement of fact.

plus, and this was my point about the rbead and wine, if we're supposed to fast because christ isn't here, then why are we supposed to take the bread and wine in remembrance of him? seems a bit contradictory, no?

del_button February 21, 2007 at 12:38 AM
PBXVI said...

"Fasting never hurt nobody"---(quote from St. Redneck of Ohio)

"If you don't understand a teaching of the Church then don't disbelieve but go read one of um books (or learn how to read) so you can come to an understandin'!" (same quoter)

"Christ said there would come for a time of fasting, so don't complain... Christ said He would always be wit' us, but we does the stuff we do for a numbers of reasons. For one thing, we fast like Jesus did in the desert. Also, to remember to be filled with sorrowfullness for our sins, and thirdly, if you still ain't convinced, its because the Church tells us to. Yea, that's important cause Christ gave the Church athority, and if you are Catholic you got to act like one. So, partner, hopes that helps ya!"---same quoter

(Humor and information inteded to get across without offense!) God Bless!

del_button February 21, 2007 at 6:36 AM
Moneybags said...

Using bread and wine in remembrance of Him isn't about feasting. It is about the Eucharist. Do you know what that is?

Jesus instituted the Eucharist from bread and wine at the Last Supper. He told us to continue that.

Fasting is a separate issue and it is required today.

del_button February 21, 2007 at 9:30 AM
Anonymous said...

you're still missing my point: if we're supposed to fast because jesus is gone, then taking the bread and wine, eucharist or whatever you want to call it, is a contradiction to the fasting rule. doesn't fasting mean 'off food completely'?

and like i said befre, mat 9 is an observation about mourning, its not a commandment. if i said that when i die, people are going to cry, i'm not demanding that people should cry. i'm making a statement of fact.

del_button February 21, 2007 at 1:52 PM
ccfvisitor said...

anonymous poster:
First, there's no commandment that tells us that Jesus is God - but you believe it, right?

Let's drop this idea that if it's not a commandment or not specifically written in the bible that it doesn't make it something we should do.


Second, you are using Paul's words that we are not to be extreme in penance to the other extreme, that we should not perform any sacrificial acts at all. That's certainly not what Paul was about.

Third, fasting is not a permanent activity or discipline. It's something we are only required to do on two days during the year. (Abstinence or at least a substitute is required 53 or 54 times during the year, but that's a different topic.)

Fasting is all about remembering Jesus trials and suffering for our sakes. He became man, lowering himself from Heaven, so that he could empathize with us. Why should we not empathize with him and his sufferings in the desert and on the whipping post and upon the cross?

It is a discipline required by the church for a very small period of time. Two whole days out of the year. Let's toughen up a bit and try to do something that shows Jesus how much his suffering means to us instead of arguing semantics of whether he told us to do this or not.

Jesus told Peter, "whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

Don't you think it makes Jesus smile when we obey the discipline instituted by the Church that we fast on these two days during the year, and more often on our own because we think it is so important?

Did you ever surprise your mom with flowers even though she didn't command that you bring them to her? Did you ever do something nice for your mom because your dad told you to do it? She was still pleased, wasn't she? Think about this for a bit, and you will see just how each of these scenarios with mom is exactly like what I asked about above with pleasing Jesus.

del_button February 21, 2007 at 3:16 PM
tiny tim said...

I've gotta wade in on this. This is so funny! First of all, the nature of Jesus isn't a commandment!

Anonymous makes some really good points but all you guys are doing is is skirting around the points he brings up. In Matthew 9, Jesus is saying that people will fast because they're sad. "The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast". This is so obviously not a commandment!!!

We remember Christ's death and suffering through the bread and wine: 1 Cor.11:26 "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew (or "announce") the Lord's death till he come."

SIMPLE STUFF!!!!

del_button February 21, 2007 at 10:59 PM
PBXVI said...

Okay everybody, calm down!!! Listen, it doesn't say in the Bible that you must fast on Ash Wednesday, but it does say there will come a time for fasting, and it seems that Christ meant after His ascencion into Heaven we should fast--that would be now. Anyway, if you are Catholic then you are required to abstain from meat and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (As well as abstain from meat on all Fridays in Lent). The fasting that the Church requires is not absolutely no food, but you're allowed one normal sized meal and two smaller meals that do not add up to one normal meal.
However the Eucharist is "food from Heaven" and is meant to draw us closer to Christ and is not nurishment for our bodies, and therefore would not be a break to fasting. Hope that helps! God Bless!

del_button February 22, 2007 at 9:54 AM
tiny tim said...

Everyone's calm.

Please consider the following points:
1. There are no descriptions on HOW to fast in the Bible yet there's a boatload of rules and regs implemented by the Church. That's suspicious in itself as it calls into question the true motives for fasting.

2. Fasting had long been a practice among the Jews. Even Jesus and the disciples would have fasted on the Day of Atonement.

3. It's never actually instructed that fasting is a means to emphasize with Christ. Instead, fasting in the NT is virtually always associated with mourning or prayer, not remembrance - eg. Acts 14:23.

4. In Luke 18:12, a man came to Christ and said he was fasting. What was he fasting for? There's a similar instance in Acts 27, where a boatload of soliders had been fasting for 14 days. It wasn't done to remember Christ. (See #2 above)

5. We don't mourn Christ's ascension into heaven as the disciples did. Instead we look forward to the day when Christ will return. So just because the disciples fasted doesn't mean we're in the same situation and emotional state to do the same.

The point in all of this is that while fasting was voluntarily carried out by the apostles, it was never a commandment and therefore isn't an absolutely requirement of today's believer. Fasting has the ability to bring one closer to Christ and even helps to focus one's thoughts on God, but to 'force' it upon someone is wrong.

Finally, it's a shame Anon's point hasn't been closed. Jesus wasn't commanding the disciples to fast, as was originally suggested. An admittance on Moneybag's part would be helpful.

del_button February 22, 2007 at 12:51 PM
Moneybags said...

I am done with this discussion. Blogs are not places for discussion. They are places to provide information and receive comments. If you would like to continue, please, let's move this to a message board. I belong to several.

Above all, Christ has spoken through His Church for fasting on these days. That is good enough for me.

del_button February 22, 2007 at 1:48 PM
tiny tim said...

Whatever.

You made a false claim, and then shut things down when someone calls you on it. Anything not to admit a mistake. What a joke.

Death to discussion!!!

del_button February 22, 2007 at 3:30 PM
Anonymous said...

i wish someone had told me about the non-discussion clause before i asked my question. could have gone somewhere else where theyre more receptive talking about things.

thanks to tt, visitor and pbxvi for your comments and thoughts.

del_button February 22, 2007 at 8:27 PM
Moneybags said...

I didn't mean to offend anyone! I just didn't want this to go on forever. I would rather talk about this on a message board.

Anyway, I had a few things that I wanted to bring up:

The Bible spells out specific spiritual benefits of fasting. It produces humility (Ps 69:10). It shows our sorrow for our sins (1 Sam 7:6). It clears a path to God (Dan 9:3). It is a means of discerning God's will (Ezr 8:21) and a powerful method of prayer (8:23). It's a mark of true conversion (Jl 2:12). ...

del_button February 23, 2007 at 12:52 AM
Anonymous said...

i wasn't interested in finding out about the spiritual benefits of fasting. i wanted to know why you thought it was a commandment. but this discussion is over. thanks for your time. it was obviously a chore. seems to be a common catholic occurance.

del_button February 23, 2007 at 10:42 AM
tiny tim said...

Ouch.

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