Pray - Fast - Give 2-18-2018

St. Mary Catholic Community Downtown Royal Oak Pray-Give-Fast

One of the pillars of lent that we really make an effort to adhere to is the practice of fasting. The Church asks us to fast only two days, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Many of us learned as a child to “give up something for lent” It is not a mandatory requirement by the Church, yet it is often a commitment by many Catholics. If you were like me, I never was very good at giving up something I really enjoyed, such as sweets, until I understood why I should be making this sacrifice.

Fasting or giving up something for Lent should be more than just saying no to dessert or giving up our favorite beverage for forty days. Our sacrifice should help us change our lives and grow in holiness. Our forty days should be filled with reflection, service and prayer.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves how are the things I want to give up for Lent going to help me develop a closer relationship with God? Will my fast encourage me to avoid the near occasion of sin? Will abstaining from these activities lead me to become a more faith-filled person?

Lent isn’t suppose to be a forty day diet plan. But acts of self-denial, self-examination, and self-restraint helps to free us from the bondage that holds us from a closer relationship with God.

What are you denying yourself of this Lent? For me, I am going to spend less time on my Ipad and social media and more time in prayer and spiritual reading.

If you have not been successful in the past or have not done this before, attempt something achievable. Attempt something that will challenge and cost you. The goal is greater focus on our relationship with Christ and the sacrifice he made for us. When we truly spend more time in prayer, fasting and giving, then we will be prepared for the blessed gift of Good Friday and Easter.

Make this your best lent ever and I will be praying for your success!

Linda Maccarone

Stewardship Coordinator