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Saturday, March 3, 2001

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Bl. Katharine Drexel (USA)

Isaiah 58:9-14
Psalm 86
Luke 5:27-32

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the seed of fasting

"This, rather, is the fasting that I wish." —Isaiah 58:6

Fasting is the kernel of Lent. By imitating Jesus' forty-day fast this Lent, we will reap a great spiritual harvest throughout Easter culminating in Pentecost. For fasting to grow, we must pull out the weeds of "oppression, false accusation and malicious speech" (Is 58:9). We must till the soil by pouring ourselves "out for the hungry" (Is 58:10, old RSV). Then we will reap a miraculous first harvest of light, guidance, abundance, strength, and restoration (see Is 58:10-12). Then, if we further till the soil by keeping holy the Lord's Day (see Is 58:13), we will reap a second harvest in which we "delight in the Lord" and "ride on the heights of the earth" (Is 58:14).

Fasting is a precious, fragile seed. It is difficult to plant it properly. It is more difficult to keep it growing. Nevertheless, if we follow up on fasting as delineated by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, we will harvest fruits which are precious and almost unimaginable. Let the Lord work through you in fasting.

Prayer:  Father, may this Lenten fast be the fast of a lifetime.

Promise:  "Leaving everything behind, Levi stood up and became His follower." —Lk 5:28

Praise:  Blessed Katharine Drexel, who died in 1955, gave nearly twelve million dollars during her lifetime toward apostolic work with minority groups in the USA.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000