The Fast and The Glorious

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March 12, 2011 by bobet888

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.

Isiah 58:1-9a

March 11, 2011 Bible Reading and Gospel

Why Deny Ourselves?
by Fr. Paul Hubert

Self-denial is a word that is popular neither in our thoughts nor on our “to do” list. “Self” is what we think of most of the time; “ denial” we apply to all that contradicts us. Put the two together, however, and something in us goes awry. We sense we had better skip to another subject. We can easily check our self-denial: Try to recall the last purposeful sacrifice we made in order to please God or someone else. Then recall the last time we did what most pleased ourselves. Ever since the temptation in the Garden, our egotism has played against us. It has caused us to love ourselves more than God and our neighbor, and it is at the root of any sin we commit. Fighting against egotism, putting ourselves after God and our neighbor, can only help us recover the love God wanted us to have for him and for one another. The practice of fasting helps us to break our egotism and to be able to resist our inordinate passions and feelings. This is a lifetime battle to fight, especially in the society in which we live.

Lord, show me how to love my enemies just as you did. Teach me how to live my Christianity in spirit and not just externally. I don ’t want to follow you superficially. I know that as a Christian I am called to live a life of sanctity. The only thing that can stop me from being holy is my own selfishness and lack of generosity. Help me to give myself to those around me through charity. Teach me how to forgive others. Purify my thoughts so that I will never think ill of anyone. Let my mind be consumed with ways in which I can serve those around me.


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