On Raising the Standards for Receiving the Eucharist and Friday Abstinence

A similar observation can be made regarding the reception of the Eucharist and the Friday abstinence. Receiving the Eucharist in the hand and leaving the Friday penance to individuals diminish their purpose. When we can touch a thing, it loses its mystery. It becomes boring and trivial. The Eucharist lost its value and centrality not […]

The Glory of These Forty Days

—from the book Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (book and CD) by Anthony Esolen, Ch. 3: Who is Christ? The glory of these forty days We celebrate with songs of praise; For Christ, by Whom all things were made, Himself has fasted and has prayed The poetry is so […]

Two Philosophies of Life

Actually, there are only two philosophies of life: one is first the feast, then the headache; the other is first the fast and then the feast. Deferred joys purchased by sacrifice are always sweetest and most enduring. + Christianity, unlike any other religion in the world, begins with catastrophe and defeat. Sunshine religions and psychological […]

Cardinal Sarah on Doctrine and Pastoral Practice (Also, Prayer and Fasting)

When it comes to contemporary questions about the relationship between doctrine and pastoral practice, the cardinal makes it clear he supports no separation: The idea of putting Magisterial teaching in a beautiful display case while separating it from pastoral practice, which then could evolve along with circumstances, fashions, and passions, is a sort of heresy, […]

Pride, Lust, and Avarice Vs. Prayer, Fasting, and Alms

Self-love, which is good, can be perverted to self-adoration, in which one says, ” I am my own law, my own truth, my own standard. Nobody can tell me anything. Whatever I call right is right; what I call wrong is wrong. Therefore, I am God.” This is the sin of pride, the perversion of […]

Fasting: Reason #5

Fifth, it reminds you of the truth about yourself. The truth is that we are weak. We are limited and in need of a limitless one. We are created, dependent upon a creator. If we get into the bad habit of automatically quenching our every thirst, satisfying our every urge, we begin to forget that we are […]

Oh, Happiness

[W]hat if I decided that to each thing I gave up I would attach a certain prayer?  God, my fast from desserts today is my prayer for the freedom of the Chinese from religious persecution. The fruit of this small sacrifice is at least two-fold; firstly, it teaches self-denial, which, inasmuch as it teaches contentment, is […]