Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A GOOD BRIEF ARTICLE ON THE HISTORY OF FASTING IN MOSAIC LAW AND CHRISTIAN TRADITION


Yes, a good article from Praytell on fasting which you can read in full HERE.

A money quote:

In 1966, immediately after the Second Vatican Council, Paul VI placed the emphasis on the interior and religious character of penitence, which is done by prayer, fasting, and charity. The U.S. bishops provided for abstinence from meat on the Fridays of Lent the same year. The 1983 Code of Canon Law minimally requires fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, with conferences of bishops determining further regulations.

This review shows that historically, the rhythm of the liturgical year was experienced directly and intensely by the faithful, with fasting and abstinence being a striking way to mark seasons and fast days. Our contemporary era, with its rather minimal fasting and abstinence, is somewhat of an exception to most of church history.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

But what was the reason for getting rid of all of the fasting? I can understand limiting the requirement for abstaining from meat, and I can understand moderating the fasting requirements; but I cannot understand why Vatican II practically eliminated both. What was the point? What benefit were those counsel members seeking?

Fr Martin Fox said...

The author of this latter piece might want to talk to the author of the item from several days ago, complaining about the laity being too focused on "quantityism" and "thingism" and "obligationism." Perhaps together, the authors might realize that the faithful ask for, and benefit from, a certain amount of spelling out obligations. That's just how most of us are wired. If you say, for your penance, try to be nice, that is maddening. Much better to say, abstain from meat, or fast one meal, or even, pray three Hail Marys.

(And, yes, I know that the two items at PrayTell have the same author.)

Rood Screen said...

The '83 code specifically says that Friday abstinence throughout the whole year is the norm.