Today (Ash Wednesday) is a day of fasting and abstinence. 

As Catholics, we abstain from meat today.  I seldom go a day without eating meat so this is a sacrifice for me but I do so willingly because God is more important to me than a piece of meat. 

As Catholics, we are also called to fast today, meaning one main meal, and two small meals.  I like to eat.  I like to snack (especially on my favorite candy).  As I write this at 8:15 p.m. on Ash Wednesday, I realize that fasting for a single day really isn’t that difficult.  I like to tell myself that when I eat it is always because I am hungry.  Unfortunately, I think the snacking is more about habit rather than hunger. 

My faith in God is stronger than my desire for a candy bar.  I give up the candy bar readily today.  What I need is to figure out how to give up candy and any other bad habits for ever.  It isn’t that candy is a terrible thing.  While, there are certainly more healthy things to eat, that doesn’t make eating candy a sin.

If eating candy isn’t a sin, then why should I give it up (or at least eat far less of it)?  First, the obvious answer is that it isn’t good for me.  The second answer relates to another reason I eat too much candy.  When I am stressed, I snack more.  I think a lot of people do this.  I would be far better off turning to God with my stress.

Is there something in your life that you turn to in stress instead of turning to God?


Fr. Jeff

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