Fasting is core to the Lenten spirit. But, remember the warning of Saint John Chrysostom:
It is possible for one who fasts not to be rewarded for his fasting. How? When indeed we abstain from foods, but do not abstain from iniquities; when we do not eat meat, but gnaw to pieces the homes of the poor; when we do not become drunkards with wine, but we become drunkards with evil pleasures; when we abstain all the day, but all the night we spend in impure shows. Then what is the benefit of abstention from foods, when on the one hand you deprive your body of a selected food, but on the other offer your soul unlawful food?”
“Penance, penance, penance!” these were the words of the Mother of God when she appeared at Lourdes, in February, 1858. That is our theme during Great Lent!
This week is known as Pure Week. It is a week in which we should strive to be vigilant about our interior life. Remember that while we undertake fasting, penance, Scripture reading, and prayer, Satan looks to stir things up. Pray for patience so as to avoid hasty comments or judgments on an unpleasant situation that pops up during Lent or Holy Week.
Remember that we must always be armed against the devil.
Buy a Jesus Prayer booklet, and a prayer rope at the parish’s store and use it to recite this ancient prayer daily.