Saturday, February 28, 2009



“The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives” (Is. 58: 6-7).

Fasting can involve:

•giving up some nice thing we do not really need, like sweets, chocolate, dessert, etc., even if we are over the age for fasting
•Many can cut down on alcohol or nicotine or any other addictive substance , perhaps as part of a permanent giving up. It can help to motivate if we remember these things are not very good for us anyway.


The practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific way to assist those in need and, at the same time, is an exercise in self-denial to free us from attachment to worldly goods. It helps us to overcome the temptation of loving money, teaching us to respond to our neighbor’s needs and to share with others whatever we possess through divine goodness.

Almsgiving teaches us the generosity of love.

Almsgiving can be linked to fasting. Money saved from giving up superfluities may be redirected to helping those who do not have necessities for life. Why not take the money that would be spent on that fancy meal you decided to forego and give it to those who do not know where their next meal is coming from?
If you have given up movies for Lent or any other indulgence, again let the money saved be diverted to the really needy.