Please read the great article below about why every Friday during the year should be a day of fasting and abstaining for Catholics. Do it for Jesus!
Posted: 15 Oct 2015 07:13 PM PDT
Friday is a day to fast, a day to mourn and a day to repent. It is the day upon which Christ died for the sake of our salvation. We Catholics have from the very beginning of the New Covenant always set apart Friday as a penitential observance. On this day we offer up our sufferings to be joined with the suffering of Christ so that perhaps one day we may be glorified with Him by our redemption. Every Friday we are to remain mindful of the sins of the world and our own sins making every Friday a day of mortification as we remember the Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Christ gifts us words of wisdom as we consider our great need for penance during our Friday observances. In Luke 12, when Jesus was with a multitude of a crowd He said first to His disciples, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” As St. Cyril explains, the Pharisees “were false accusers” and Christ calls their hypocrisy a “leaven” that rises up in men and changes them irrevocably for the worse. We are inclined to this leaven of hypocrisy by the defect of our fallen natures. We have the saints as our models for the way to overcome the inclination just as we have the Pharisees as the example to be avoided.
Christ follows this warning with a more ominous one, He tells us that “nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” St. Ambrose calls this a “most forcible argument for preserving simplicity, and being zealous for the faith.” In avoiding the hypocrisy of the Pharisee’s we must also be vigilant about our words and actions to make sure they are ordered to Christ’s twin commandments to Love God and neighbor in the right respects.
It is frightening to remember that God knows and remembers all things in all times. There is nothing we can hide from Him and as Christ explains, at the end of time, all things will be revealed as we stand accused on Judgement Day. All of our deeds shall be proclaimed publically for all men to hear, and this eschatological fact ought to curb our tongues and hearts when we desire to do things in secret we would not have the world know. The darkness in which our hearts desire evil things is only a temporary cover until that day when all will be revealed.
There is only one thing to do rid ourselves of the guilt and shame we accumulate by giving into temptation and hypocrisy and that is the sacrament of penance. Christ calls out a further warning which becomes an exhortation to reconciliation when He says “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell.” Death of the Body is nearly inconsequential when compared to the prospect of an eternity separated from God in Hell.
St. Chrysostom presses us to “observe how our Lord makes His disciples superior to all, by exhorting them to despise that very death which is terrible to all. At the same time, he brings them proofs of the immortality of the soul adding, “I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: fear him, which after he has killed has power to cast into hell.” St. Ambrose goes on to explain that “our natural death is not the end of punishment.” If we choose ourselves over God, the punishment will extend into eternity. We must become Christ’s disciples so that our judgement will see our heroic acts of virtue perfected by God’s graces and not the shameful acts flowing from our fallen natures.
Today is Friday. We mourn the death of our Lord as we remember His supreme sacrifice for us. Let us fast, pray and make reparations for the multitudinous hearts that have turned away from Him. Let us avoid the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and never forget that our sins of which we fail to repent will remain on the permanent records of our souls. Let us also remember not to fear those who can kill the body, but the powers and principalities who roam around the world seeking to ruin souls for an eternity. We must heed Christ our Creator and say yes to His infinite mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation as we seek holy absolution by Christ’s vicar seated in the confessional waiting patiently to do God’s work here on earth to colonize heaven. Today is Friday. Let us mourn our sins and the sins of the world as we embrace God’s mercy and in the final hope of the world to come.
About the Author
Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg is a Catholic convert, husband and father. He is a Catholic writer and speaker on matters of Faith, culture, and education. He teaches, theology, philosophy and Church history at Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta. Steven is a member of the Teacher Advisory Board and writer of curriculum at the Sophia Institute for Teachers and contributes regularly to several Catholic websites. He is a contributor to the Integrated Catholic Life, Crisis Magazine, The Civilized Reader, The Standard Bearers, The Imaginative Conservative and Catholic Exchange.