Fasting & The Season the Enemy Calls Lent

The international listening posts of the Central Lack of Intelligence Agency have unscrambled various messages that have been sent electronically from sources unknown to destinations that have yet to be specified.

These messages were filtered out from the millions of electronic impulses radiating through the atomosphere. The messages were disguised and coded within the billions of cell phone signals transmitted and received everyday. Computer programs have now been able to filter out, de-code and translate the messages. The messages, while incomplete are of enough interest to be published.

Experts are still unclear who composed or sent the messages, but they seem to be instructions and training for undercover agents working in the field of religious propaganda. The first of the messages to be decoded says:

The new technologies of communication are to be exploited for our own ends. However, now that they have developed all these invisible means of communicating with one another they may soon start thinking that extra sensory perception or intuition is possible.


You will naturally want to encourage this, because you will think that from such interests you will be able to lead the gullible brutes into the delightful labyrinth of spiritualism, theosophy and the occult proper. This is just what I would expect from a beginner. Let me warn you most firmly not to follow that path. If they start to imagine that invisible means of communication are possible they may very well start to take prayer seriously. The next thing you know your patient will be doing something disgusting like praying the rosary, and that will lead to (horror of horrors!) a serious attempt at fasting.

Instead of the obvious route of tempting them into the occult (that so lacks subtlety my dear Hogwart) simply get them obsessed with the cleverness of their new playthings. In time you may get the females in your ward to use the internet for high speed gossip and endless shopping. Use the technology to lure young men into an addiction to pornography or role play games. With a little bit of finesse dear Hogwart, you will be able to lead the women into a delicious level of vanity and pure spitefulness, while you lead the men into a fantasy world that is only one step from the warmth of our eternal home.

Finally, be on your guard dear Hogwart. This is the season the enemy call Lent. Despite our successes in turning this into a time for ‘sharing with others’, some of the enemies agents still take prayer and fasting seriously. Watch out for them. The simpering self righteous little cretins make me want to vomit up all the exquisite bile I have been imbibing. Step on them Hogwart. Crush the vermin.

Should any of the vermin attempt to fast during this period they call Lent, you may think it right to tempt them with the thing they have vowed to give up. Sometimes this works, but more often it is counterproductive. Remember Hogwart, while they are disgustingly physical, you should not mistake their repulsive hairy physicalness with stupidity.

Should you tempt the patient who has given up chocolate with chocolate fudge cake with hot fudge topping he will probably spot it straight away and sidestep. If he gives in and eats the chocolate cake you will feel pleased with yourself. Don’t. Your patient (if he is even the tiniest bit serious about fasting) will instantly realize he has broken his vow, and repent. Any repentance is to be regretted enormously, but your amateurish attempts will actually be counter productive because not only will your patient repent, he will turn back to his fasting with renewed determination.

Try instead to focus his mind on the actual process of fasting. Remind him all the time that he actually is fasting, and how difficult it is. With luck he will focus so much on fasting that he will forget to pray. If possible get him to tell others about his fast. Get him to compare his austerities with theirs (and for badness sake, don’t allow him to compare with someone who actually fasts more rigorously than he does or you might spark off the beginnings of humility in your patient). As you keep his mind on his fasting, remind him how good it is to concentrate on what he’s doing. With some patience you will soon be able to develop the beginnings of some nice self righteousness, and with skill over time you may be able to develop your patient into a full blown Pharisaical prig. There is no harm in him fasting twice a week on bread and water if you can get him to be proud of it. Ah, the bittersweet taste of really good self righteousness! They never make a main course, but they do make a very fine dessert.

Your fiend,



 From the book The Gargoyle Code by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker


Father Dwight Longenecker is the pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the author, most recently, of Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness (Sophia Institute Press, 2020). Read more at

Crisis Magazine Comments Policy

This is a Catholic forum. As such:

  1. All comments must directly address the article. “I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter.” (Matthew 12:36)
  2. No profanity, ad hominems, hot tempers, or racial or religious invectives. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
  3. We will not tolerate heresy, calumny, or attacks upon our Holy Mother Church or Holy Father. “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
  4. Keep it brief. No lengthy rants or block quotes. “For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
  5. If you see a comment that doesn’t meet our standards, please flag it so a moderator may remove it. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)
  6. All comments may be removed at the moderators’ discretion. “But of that day and hour no one knows…” (Matthew 24:36)
  7. Crisis isn’t responsible for the content of the comments box. Comments do not represent the views of Crisis magazine, its editors, authors, or publishers. “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God… So each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12)