|This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the
oppressed. (Isaiah 58:6)
We must always remember what God tells us in Scripture: "Even if a
mother could forget the child in her womb" - something impossible, but even if she
could forget - "I will never forget you."
And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own
home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people first. And find out
about your next-door neighbors. Do you know who they are?
I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A
gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not
eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And
I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen
hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave
her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you
do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What
struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. I didn't
bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and Muslims, to enjoy the
joy of sharing. ..... Mother Teresa
Q: What is a day of fast and abstinence?
A: Under current canon law in the Western Rite of the Church, a day of fast is one on
which Catholics who are eighteen to sixty years old are required to keep a limited fast.
In this country, one may eat a single, normal meal and have two snacks, so long as these
snacks do not add up to a second meal. Children are not required to fast, but their
parents must ensure they are properly educated in the spiritual practice of fasting. Those
with medical conditions requiring a greater or more regular food intake can easily be
dispensed from the requirement of fasting by their pastor. A day of abstinence is a day on
which Catholics fourteen years or older are required to abstain from eating meat (under
the current discipline in America, fish, eggs, milk products, and condiments or foods made
using animal fat are permitted in the Western Rite of the Church, though not in the
Eastern Rites.) Again, persons with special dietary needs can easily be dispensed by their
Schedule a fifteen minute period of silence today to listen to your heart and
to the Lord speaking to you..
Lord, with your loving care guide the penance we have begun. Help us
to persevere with love and sincerity.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the
Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.