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Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Here it is not even Lent and our gospel talks about fasting. Not a subject very enticing to many people - if any. Though there might not seem too much difference between fasting and abstaining, the Church in its discipline seems to convey a basic difference of meaning in these two words. Fasting is to limit your intake, while abstaining is to do without something totally. We usually use these words in connection with food, but they can be used in reference to anything - even in reference to religious education.

Some people seem to abstain totally from learning anything about God and religious truths. Others fast from it by limiting their involvement and intake. Those we might consider fanatics could be said to neither fast nor abstain. They gorge themselves with more religion than even they can handle while also trying to plunge it down the throats of everyone else. They make the mistake of too much at one time. Sort of spiritual gluttony.

Each day we should allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to understand more of the things of God and how we are to live. He wants to do this slowly through daily events in our lives according to our capacity for intake. We are to think on these things and try to distinguish the good from the bad. Not always easy, but as our thinking and experience ages like wine, our knowledge improves in quality. God does not want to rush you. But he does want you to progress, not stagnate.

Wine doesn’t just sit there. It ferments and improves. You are to do the same.

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