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It has only been in the last several years that I have

come to a better understanding of what “fasting” dur-

ing Lent really means and what our Lord is calling us

to do during those forty days (and for that matter, dur-

ing every day of our lives). The outward appearance

of giving up something or going without is a helpful

reminder of what should be going on within us, but it

should never be our objective to merely “show off”

externally. Our fasting should be a catalyst for change and positive action,

not a millstone we carry around seeking praise and recognition. Fasting

isn’t always “giving up”; very often it can be doing something positive,

helping, making life better for ourselves and others. This is what the

prophet Isaiah, the psalmist and Jesus are telling us in today’s readings,

and what Lent calls us to do. Our sacrifice should be “a humble and con-

trite spirit”, always seeking to help others and bring goodness into the

world around us. Only then, as Isaiah reminds us, “your light shall break

forth like the dawn and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindica-

tion shall go before you.” Only then will we truly come to know and experi-

ence holiness and the life of Christ within us.



Dear God,

Over this Lenten season, help us to come to understand the true meaning

and purpose of fasting and sacrifice by acts of kindness and charity to-

ward those around us, so that we can create within ourselves a humble

and contrite heart and grow every day in your grace.

We make this prayer in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who showed

us by his own life and sacrifice the way to you in holiness and service.



Allyson Simpson,

Wife of Roland, Mother of Megan, Erin and Brian, RCIA Team Member

and Eucharistic Minister