Then adults had to fast every day of Lent and everyone had to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday throughout the year not just on the Fridays of Lent. Today Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and days of both fast and abstinence and all the Fridays of Lent days of abstinence. I use to think as a boy how difficult it must have been for my parents to fast and not eat between meals for the forty days of Lent.! As a child I always seemed to feel hungry. I knew I couldn’t do it ! I believe the regulations regarding fasting changed before I reached the age where I was obligated to fast for all the days of Lent.
But when I was in my twenties I began fasting during Lent and on other days throughout the year and I found it very beneficial to my prayer life. and it made me more attuned to the needs of others around me. When fasting I found myself listening more to what God was saying to me and what he was asking from me. In reflecting back at that time in my life I believe that fasting helped me to discern my call from God to the priesthood.
I must say that I did not remain as faithful to fasting as I was in my Youth. I only have to look at my waistline to remind me of that fact! I do hope this Lent to fast again more than I have in recent years. If my parents in their youth raising four kids and working long days could fast during the forty days of Lent, then I should be able to fast more than just on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. That is a goal I have for this Lent and hopefully the fasting will help strengthen my relationship with God in prayer and my relationships with those I am called to serve.
Have a holy and a reflective Lent.
God bless you, Father Bill
The deacon is a man of faith, who is called from the community that already recognizes his dedication to service. He makes a lifetime commitment to serving the People of God by proclaiming the Word, assisting and presiding at liturgies, and ministering in the areas of charity and social justice. A deacon gives witness to his availability to the community by addressing present and emerging needs of the Church. The Diocese is inviting interested men of strong and active faith, who can demonstrate a record of service in the communities in which they live, work and worship, who may wish to explore a possible call to ordained ministry as a permanent deacon, to first speak with their pastor for an initial conversation. They may also contact Deacon Edward Giblin, Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate, at email@example.com, for additional information. A potential candidate must be at least 35 years of age and no older than 62 years of age at the time of ordination after a five (5) year period of formation. He must be in good health, emotionally mature, have stable relationships and must have the wholehearted support of his wife (if married) and family to enter the phase of inquiry. Because the parish is the primary experience of Church for most inquirers, the parish community is asked as well to invite from among its members men who exhibit strong faith and a spirit of service and encourage them to consider a possible vocation to the permanent diaconate.