fasting

Letter From a Pastor About a Presidential Candidate

My dear _______, I received your letter expressing your disappointment that I mentioned in my column in the bulletin that former Vice President Joseph Biden has clearly taken positions in favor of legalized abortion. You claim that the candidate is pro-life because he stated in a debate with Congressman Paul Ryan that he was “personally [...]

Want to Help the Church? Try Fasting

Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church is supposed to have said, “A Church that does not fast is not an apostolic Church.” These words, real or imagined, stand as an apt critique of the current Roman Catholic Church. Catholics no longer practice fasting or abstaining in a meaningful way. Over the past fifty [...]

To Fast Well, Understand Hunger

I've spent about two-thirds of the Lents of the last few decades either pregnant or nursing. In other words, holding a get-out-of-fasting-free card. But since my late 40s just rolled around, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to draw that card again. Which is why I had to face the truth last Lent that I’m [...]

The Diabolical Tweets of Father Martin on Penance

Around six years ago, after the birth of my eldest son, while in prayer during Eucharistic Adoration, I asked the Lord to make him a priest, if that is his will. In the intervening years, he has, of his own accord, loved to play Mass and “baptize” his sister’s playthings, so perhaps my prayer will [...]

A Spiritually Meaningful Lent After Mardi Gras

When I was a kid, my siblings and I always felt short-changed on Fat Tuesday. Lent loomed on the horizon, with no sweets for forty days until we got a motherlode of chocolate eggs for Easter. It seemed like we should be able to pig out on Fat Tuesday, since, obviously, it was our last [...]

Is It Over Yet? Lessons for Lent     

“Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still Even among these rocks…” ∼  Ash Wednesday T.S. Eliot Can you believe it? It’s only the first week of Lent, and I’m already tired of it. When will this ordeal end? Surely there’s a door somewhere leading out of this desert. Does [...]

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