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Scott P. Richert

Thought of the Day: Fasting and Perseverance

By March 9, 2014

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Today is the First Sunday in Lent, and our Lenten fast is but a few days old. Yet these first few days are often the hardest, and we greet this Sunday, which offers our first rest from our Lenten sacrifice (fasting being forbidden on Sundays) with relief. Refreshed, we can face tomorrow with renewed commitment to our Lenten journey.

If we should find ourselves being tempted, however, despite our best efforts to control our temptations, we might take some comfort in the words of St. John Chrysostom, offered in a commentary on the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent (Matthew 4:1-11, in the traditional lectionary), in which the Devil tempts Christ at the end of His 40 days in the desert:

For the devil had despaired, seeing Christ fasting for forty days; but perceiving that afterwards He was hungry, he began to hope again; and so there follows: and the tempter coming . . . If therefore you have fasted, and you suffer temptation, do not say to yourself, "I have lost the fruit of my fasting." For if your fast has not availed that you be not tempted, it will yet avail that you be not overcome in temptation.

Comforting words, from a saint and doctor of the Church who knew a thing or two about fasting.

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