why do we fast during lent catholic

and fasting seem to go together naturally in some Christian churches, while others consider this form of self-denial a personal, private matter. It s easy to find examples of in both the Old and New Testaments. In
times, fasting was observed to express grief. Starting in the New Testament, fasting took on a different meaning, as a way to focus on God and. Such a focus was s intent during his 40-day fast in the wilderness ( ). In preparation for his public ministry, Jesus intensified his prayer with the addition of fasting. Why Do Christians Observe Fasting for Lent? Today, many Christian churches associate Lent with Moses 40 days on the mountain with God, the 40-year journey of the Israelites in the desert, and Christ s 40-day. Lent is a period of somber self-examination and penitence in preparation for. The has a long tradition of fasting for Lent. Unlike most other Christian churches, the Catholic Church has for its members covering. Not only do Catholics fast on and, but they also abstain from meat on those days and all the Fridays during Lent. Fasting does not mean complete denial of food, however. On fast days, Catholics are allowed to eat one full meal and two smaller meals which, together, do not constitute a full meal.


Young children, the elderly, and persons whose health would be affected are exempt from fasting regulations. Fasting is associated with prayer and alms-giving as to take a person s attachment away from the world and focus it on God and Christ s. The imposes the strictest rules for the Lenten fast. Meat and other animal products are prohibited the week before Lent. The second week of Lent, only two full meals are eaten, on Wednesday and Friday, although many lay people do not keep the full rules. Weekdays during Lent, members are asked to avoid meat, meat products, fish, eggs, dairy, wine, and oil. On Good Friday, members are urged not to eat at all. Most Protestant churches do not have regulations on fasting and Lent. During the, many practices that might have been considered works were eliminated by reformers and, so as not to confuse believers who were being taught. In the, members are encouraged to fast on and Good Friday. Fasting is also to be combined with prayer and alms-giving. The makes fasting voluntary. Its purpose is to develop a dependence on God, prepare the believer to face temptation, and to seek wisdom and guidance from God.


The has no official guidelines on fasting but encourages it as a private matter. , one of the founders of Methodism, fasted twice a week. Fasting, or abstaining from such activities as watching television, eating favorite foods, or doing hobbies is also encouraged during Lent. The encourages fasting as a way to draw closer to God, but considers it a private matter and has no set days when members should fast. The consider fasting an important practice but purely voluntary and private. The church stresses that it does not produce merit or favor from God but is a way to heighten focus and gain self-control. The encourages fasting but imposes no requirements on its members to fast during Lent. The Augsburg Confession states, We do not condemn fasting in itself, but the traditions which prescribe certain days and certain meats, with peril of conscience, as though such works were a necessary service. (Sources:, episcopalcafe. com, fpcgulfport. org, umc. org, namepeoples. imb. org, and. ) for signing up. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics.


In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards. Members of the Eastern Catholic Churches are to observe the particular law of their own sui iuris Church. If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the "paschal fast" to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection. More information on fast and abstinence can be found below. For members of the Latin Catholic Church within the United States, please see the USCCB's and the. is one way Catholics can enhance their Lenten fasting practice by giving up meals and donating the cost of those meals to in order to help those who do not have enough to eat.

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