I was rather amused, if this be the right word to use, by the reactions of the few I took upon myself to remind of the forthcoming fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I usually do this with the newly baptised and those whom I know will appreciate a gentle reminder. For them it would be the first time and the first challenge they have no choice but to take upon themselves. But lest they forget, the Church has 1.2 billion believers! We are never alone on our faith journey.
This is no laughing matter. It is serious business, in fact, depending on how one wants to approach it. If one looks at the necessity to make a change in one’s freedom to eat as and when one desires, and to take whatever one likes to have whenever one so fancies, then the approach is going to be harder. The flesh overpowers the spirit. It might be more helpful to do it for the love of our Lord. See it as a response to the way He had undergone every suffering for our sake. When one reflects on that, the whole paradigm is different. One shifts and looks no longer at oneself but at the One who has first loved us. Consider how He did that from the moment He was conceived in the Virgin Mary!
The call to love. The response to love. For love of the One who first loved me. Yes, let us look at our times of fasting and abstinence this way. Of the 365 days in a year, the Church asks of us only two days! Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can that be too much? Far from it!
Praise the Lord!