28 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/03/2009
VATICAN
Pope: fasting against egoism, in order to learn to do the will of God
Benedict XVI's message for Lent highlights the relevance of the ascetical practice of renouncing food, which modern society considers only from the perspective of physical well-being.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Even though "true fasting" means doing the will of God, the voluntary renunciation of food is "a spiritual arm to do battle against every possible disordered attachment to ourselves," "helps the disciple of Christ to control the appetites of nature, weakened by original sin," and "is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live," calling upon us to follow the example of the first Christian communities, which gave to the poor what had been set aside through abstinence.

The practice of fasting is the topic of Benedict XVI's message for Lent this year, entitled "Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry" (cf. Mt. 4:2), made public today. In the document, the pope observes that "In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterized by the search for material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body. Fasting certainly bring benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a 'therapy' to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God." Lent can therefore be a good opportunity so that "the authentic and perennial significance of this long held practice may be rediscovered, and thus assist us to mortify our egoism and open our heart to love of God and neighbor, the first and greatest Commandment of the new Law and compendium of the entire Gospel (cf. Mt 22, 34-40). The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord."

Benedict XVI then recalls that Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition "teach that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it. For this reason, the history of salvation is replete with occasions that invite fasting. In the very first pages of Sacred Scripture, the Lord commands man to abstain from partaking of the prohibited fruit." In the New Testament, "Jesus brings to light the profound motive for fasting, condemning the attitude of the Pharisees, who scrupulously observed the prescriptions of the law, but whose hearts were far from God. True fasting, as the divine Master repeats elsewhere, is rather to do the will of the Heavenly Father."

"Denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God. At the same time, fasting is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live." "By freely embracing an act of self-denial for the sake of another, we make a statement that our brother or sister in need is not a stranger. It is precisely to keep alive this welcoming and attentive attitude towards our brothers and sisters that I encourage the parishes and every other community to intensify in Lent the custom of private and communal fasts, joined to the reading of the Word of God, prayer and almsgiving."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/29/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Lent, charity means giving oneself, not just giving "things"
03/09/2011 VATICAN
Pope: Lent, fasting means abstaining from evil and living the Gospel
02/06/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Lent,"an occasion to make our hope more vibrant and firm"
02/06/2008 VATICAN – ASIA
Lent: almsgiving and the gift of life
by Bernardo Cervellera
03/01/2006 VATICAN
For the Pope Lent is a time of conversion and solidarity

Editor's choices
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.
ASIA
PIME in China: new men in new facilities
by Piero GheddoThe mission in China is possible. It should focus more on educational facilities. Old and new martyrs offer a role model. Here is a commented review of a letter the PIME superior general sent out to his confreres after a trip to China.
EUROPE – ISLAM
For Nîmes imam, the Islamic State group kills Christians, but also threatens Islam in Europe
by Hocine Drouiche*Political Islam is becoming a "thuggish Islam," one that values ​​lying, hate, and enmity. Christians and the West are its enemies. However, Islam has had periods in which dialogue, reason, encounter, assimilation were held in high esteem. The belligerent Islam that fascinates so many young people is the result of myths and manipulations and causes Islamophobia. It is time to create and develop Europe’s own Islam, one that guarantees freedom of conscience and coexistence with Christians and Jews. Solving the Palestinian problem requires dialogue.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.