fasting

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

God and the Coronavirus

How many times have you heard people say, “If God really exists, why does He let people get cancer or brain tumors?” Or, “If there really is a God, why does He allow wars and famine?” Or, “Where is God when we need Him most?” Well it occurred to me during this time of the world-wide, coronavirus pandemic called Covid-19, […]

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Feasting on a Fast

In this season of preparation for the arrival of Easter, there is one particular practice that seems to get a lot of attention, most of it negative. This should not be surprising since the practice is all about denying ourselves something we have all become quite accustomed to – food. The practice of course is fasting. “But he said to […]

"The Transfiguration" (detail) by Raphael - Alvesgaspar / CC BY-SA

Suffering Transfigured by Love

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Lent (Year A) — Genesis 12:1-4; Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22; Second Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9. The love in which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to a better and deeper understanding of […]

Daily Lenten Reflection — From the Heart

“This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances; you shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 26:16) God has loved and blessed us. Each of us has been placed in this life as pilgrims on a journey. The gift of Salvation is freely offered. […]

"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)

What Does the Bible Teach About Fasting?

Lent has begun, so I thought we should revisit self-denial. Fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, help us, by God’s grace, to enable the soul to more perfectly and freely pray.  This leads to a deeper union with God and thus we become better stewards of the gifts […]

"Adoration of the Magi" (detail) by Sébastien Bourdon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Magi and the gifts of …. Lent?

What shall we give him?  I have always been intrigued by the magi.  Their story forms the majority of Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet there remain so many questions about these mysterious figures. Where did they come from? How did they know to follow the star? What did they think when they found the Holy […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Lenten Fasting and the Barren Fig Tree

Is Lent about fasting or feasting? Maybe the two are related, says this commentary on the story of the barren fig tree from the gospel of Luke chapter 13. Prayer. Fasting. Almsgiving. Three inter-related fertilizers which help barren fig trees bear fruit. The Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15; Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, […]

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Why Do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays and Fast?

Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one of self-denial and detachment from all things that are obstacles to our growth.  Jesus tells us that if we are to be his […]

"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)

What Does the Bible Teach About Fasting?

Lent is fast approaching, so I thought we should revisit self-denial. Fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, help us, by God’s grace, to enable the soul to more perfectly and freely pray.  This leads to a deeper union with God and thus we become better stewards of the […]

Daily Reflection — Christ Shows the Way to Humility

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) Jesus is not just humble, he is humility. Jesus is not transcended by his qualities or attributes, he is those attributes. Jesus is not simply truthful, he is truth itself! His teaching on humility is not just words spoken, it is the life he lived […]