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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Lenten reflection, day 3

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 58:1-9; Psalm 51; Matthew 9:14-15

reconciliationAre you planning to fast this Lent? Fasting is a time-proven practice. But what kind of fasting will you do?

In the book of the Prophet Isaiah, the people ask, “Why do we fast, and you do not see it? Afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?” (58:3).

The Lord answers that, although the people may be abstaining from food and drink, “on your fast day, you carry out your own pursuits . . . your fast ends in quarreling and fighting” (58:3b, 4).

So again, what kind of fasting will you do?

Father John Powell, S.J., in his book A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (Argus Communications, 1975), describes the kind of fast we can practice this Lent:

Somehow I feel sure that the most direct route to [a spiritual] experience is to ask for the grace to give, to share, to console another, to bandage a hurting wound, to lift a fallen human spirit, to mend a quarrel, to search out a forgotten friend, to dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust, to encourage someone who has lost faith, to keep a promise, to bury an old grudge, to reduce my demands on others, to fight for a principle, to express gratitude, to overcome a fear, to appreciate the beauty of nature, to tell someone I love them, and then to tell them again.

Father Gerard Chylko, C.Ss.R.
Washington, D.C.

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.