Thursday, October 12, 2006

Friday is almost here, are you hungry for God?

As readers know, one of my main exhortations on this blog, a pet peeve, if you will, is Friday as a day of penance, just as Sunday is a day of celebration: Good Friday and Easter Sunday. To that end, I direct the curious toward my previous posts on this subject, one from last Friday and the other from Friday, 29 September. Since, liturgically, Friday begins at sundown this evening and ends at sundown tommorrow, it is time to think about a fast of some kind, charitable works and almsgiving to accompany fasting, or other works of penance. We have plenty of suggestions from our bishops, that are derived from Sacred Tradition. Along with charitable works and almsgiving, spiritually motivated fasting also requires prayer. But the relationship is fasting undergirds, supports and sustains prayer and almsgiving.

Let us take our inspiration and get our motivation from our Lord Himself by reading Matthew, chapter 6. Here are few salient excerpts from this chapter:

Almsgiving
verse 2- "When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites 2 do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward."

Prayer
verses 7-14- "In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 'This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.'"

Fasting
verses 17-18 - "But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you."

The Reason/The Why
Why? verses 19-21 - "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."

As Friday approaches, let us ask ourselves, Where is our treasure? What really matters to us?

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