Remember! Fast and abstinence! What’s your plan?

What are you all having for your meals today?

I had no breakfast.  I plan on vegetable soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and for supper salad of mixed greens and oil and vinegar.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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93 Responses to Remember! Fast and abstinence! What’s your plan?

  1. Rob in Maine says:

    I had no breakfast, but when I got up at 4:30 fro work I had some orange juice. We have a case of oranges that will rot if we don’t use them up, so I juiced one. I just came out of Mass and had a flat grilled cheese and cup of tomato soup. Tonight a simple salad of greens.

    Part of my Lenten plan is to eat a light breakfast, fast at lunch and go to Mass instead.

  2. I usually fast once a week, so this is relatively normal. I had a cup of coffee for breakfast, will probably have another for lunch, and a normal meal for supper.

  3. sw85 says:

    I’m actually a light eater anyway (one large meal + 2 smaller ones is my norm). I had some chocolate milk at breakfast, will get some Captain D’s at lunch, and will probably skip dinner, or eat very light.

  4. Usually my dinner is pasta thanks to my Mom. As for the rest of the day no meals. Just had green tea and water at breakfast hours and might do the same mid day. Else just one meal! Being a young buck I do fasting in full.

  5. I plan on no dairy today so no milk in my coffee this morning. Had whole-grain toast with apple butter on it instead of butter, or the typical yogurt/dry cereal and frozen cherries. Then at about mid-afternoon, a main meal of frozen fish [simple fishsticks or breaded cod], horseradish, and a filling vegetable like pierogies or a cheeseless ravioli, and maybe a green salad or something. I find that a meal around 3 or 4 P.M. helps with the skipped meals and odd schedule. Today I plan to travel an hour to Canons for their Tridentine Ash Wednesday Mass, so a later dinner won’t work.

    I don’t eat much typically – but fast and abstinence days I am ravenous. LOL.

  6. mamajen says:

    I can’t skip meals because I’m pregnant, but I am still abstaining from meat and plan on not snacking. Breakfast was a bowl of cereal. Lunch will likely be a peanut butter sandwich and yogurt, and for dinner we are having cheese manicotti with salad.

    Reading through the other comments has me a little worried about whether I was taught properly, though. I was always told that two very small meals and one “regular” meal (albeit meatless) were appropriate. Is skipping two meals entirely (assuming you are healthy and able) what is required, or are all of you going the extra mile out of preference? I know that I don’t need to worry if I honestly didn’t know the requirements in years past, but I’d like to do the right thing in the future.

  7. Scarltherr says:

    I postponed breakfast to lunchtime, and had a bowl of cereal. I have potato soup in the crock pot for dinner for the family.

  8. Pingback: Wednesday Highlights | Pseudo-Polymath

  9. Dcn Scott says:

    I began fasting last night about a quarter to eight. Water and perhaps a few cups of tea until after I assist with distribution of asheses (I am serving at our 6:00 PM MAss) at 8:00 PM Mass. Then toast with margarine and honey, plus a little OJ.

    May the Lord in His great mercy look favorably on all of our small offerings and, by His great suffering for us, present them to the Father.

  10. Jenny says:

    Pregnant here too so no fasting. I had cereal for breakfast. Plan on tomato soup with bread and an orange for lunch. Supper will be the leftover tomato soup turned into a sauce suitable for pasta.

    I always feel strange when everyone is fasting and I am still eating.

  11. capchoirgirl says:

    No breakfast.
    Fish “platter” for lunch from our cafeteria, although “Platter” is a rather grand name for it.
    Dinner is probably PBJ or soup.

  12. Phillip says:

    Breakfast: leftover dessert.
    Lunch: leftover cheese pizza and a breadstick.
    Dinner: probably going to be cereal.

    I live in Navy barracks. My meatless but still edible options are slightly limited.

  13. wmeyer says:

    Cereal for breakfast, some nuts for lunch, and a piece of toast. I am on antibiotics, and need something for the pill to land on other than stomach lining. Dinner as light as I can manage. Low blood sugar adds a bit to the challenge.

  14. Bill F says:

    Eucharist at 9:00 a.m. Mass, then water and maybe some juice until dinner tonight – maybe pasta and/or fish, veggie and fruit.

    @mamajen – don’t worry, you learned correctly. :) One full meal, plus two snacks/light meals that combined don’t add up to a full meal, is all that’s required. Some of us do go beyond that, but it’s a personal choice to do so.

  15. MangiaMamma says:

    For our third Lent as Catholics, We’ve decided to not eat out at all during Lent, so I’m looking forward to trying lots of meatless recipes (going old-school and not eating meat Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays) along with almsgiving & corporal acts of mercy!
    Today, something new after 7 a.m. Mass with the kids~small bowls of hot quinoa cereal. Daughter says it felt like eating seeds, but we both thought it tasted okay. I’ve got a cold, so probably some tea for lunch then pasta with veggies for the family dinner when we get home from work.

  16. Quanah says:

    Breakfast: granola bar
    Lunch: PBJ and half a pear
    Dinner: Either grilled cheese or nachos

  17. Gregg the Obscure says:

    My plan is only water and black coffee thena small plate of pasta marinara about 2100 since Mass is at 1900.

  18. The Masked Chicken says:

    1. A Bagel with cream cheese (I teach lab, today, so I need the extra energy)
    2. A tuna fish sandwich or tuna fish + beans

    I can’t fast, completely, anymore, because I get headaches.

    Question: do soft drinks kill the fast? What about V8 or fruit juices?

    Too lazy to check Canon Law.

    The Chicken

  19. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    It never, EVER fails: all I can think about today is an Arby’s medium roast beef and curly fries. Arghhh!!

  20. mamajen says:

    @Bill F

    Thank you! Glad to know I wasn’t messing up in years past. Still, seeing what everyone else is doing is inspiring–I think I will try a little harder next year.

  21. disco says:

    No breakfast. Fish Filet from McD for lunch (should have gone small instead of medium). Maybe soup for dinner?

  22. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Come to think of it: Breakfast, skip (as usual); Lunch, banana, handful of chips; Dinner, a scoop of tunanuna (family name for tuna noodle casserole). For Lent, I give up chocolate and, a la Belloc, all wines (Sunday dinner excepted).

  23. Fr AJ says:

    I would love to fast completely today but I have three Masses and lots of driving between parishes so it’s a bowl of cereal for breakfast, lunch, and again at dinner.

  24. Flambeaux says:

    Dr. Peters, you are not alone in this. :D

    Coffee in the early morning after Mass. A small handfull of nuts, a grapefruit, and some milk at midday. Pasta pomodoro for supper this evening.

    We’re embracing partial abstinence from flesh meat as a family this Lent so while the midday meal may involve a bit of meat, the evening meal (our principle meal) will be meatless. We’ve also been discussing the Lenten disciplines of both East and West around the dinner table lately.

  25. AdDeum says:

    Ha! New poster… anyway, here’s my plan… skip breakfast and dinner and all snacks. Just ate a lunch (vegetarian burrito at Qdoba). Mass at 5pm.

    plan for lent is a morning fast from food not drinks (from midnight until lunch) everyday.

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Reading through the other comments has me a little worried about whether I was taught properly, though. I was always told that two very small meals and one “regular” meal (albeit meatless) were appropriate. Is skipping two meals entirely (assuming you are healthy and able) what is required, or are all of you going the extra mile out of preference? I know that I don’t need to worry if I honestly didn’t know the requirements in years past, but I’d like to do the right thing in the future.”

    Jimmy Akin answers the question, thusly:

    ” 7. What are the rules for fasting in Lent?

    Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast. The law of fast binds those who are from 18 to 59 years old, unless they are excused for a sufficient reason (e.g., a medical condition that requires more frequent food, etc.).

    According to the Church’s official rules (as opposed to someone’s personal summary of them):

    The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing—as far as quantity and quality are concerned—approved local custom [Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini, Norms, III:2].

    The system of mitigated fasting that is required by law thus allows for “one full meal” and “some food” in the morning and evening. The Church’s official document governing the practice of fasting does not encourage scrupulous calculations about how much the two instances of “some food” add up to, though obviously each individually is less than a full meal, since only one of those is allowed.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-lent/#ixzz2KnujOFK5

  27. RichR says:

    Dr. Peters, you coul still do the fries.

  28. Mandy P. says:

    Low carbing here for health reasons, so the meatless is going to be a challenge this year with (wheat, rice, corn, and oat) bread and all pasta ruled out. However, I took some time to plan out ahead of time so I think I will be ok. Meals today are as follows:

    Breakfast: one small egg
    Lunch: home made cream of cauliflower soup, 1 -oz cheese, and home made almond and flax meal naan
    Dinner: 1-oz of cheese with 10 green olives

    I’ve managed to get in almost all my carbs at lunch and am pretty full so I think I will be ok today. I’m not normally too hungry at dinner time anyway.

  29. Andy Lucy says:

    Breakfast? What’s that? ;)
    Lunch? I have court all day on Wednesdays…
    Dinner? Probably a grilled cheese and bowl of tomato soup… provided I get out of court at a reasonable hour. I may just go home and go straight to bed, as I have to be in the office at 0400 tomorrow.

  30. americangirl says:

    Tea morning and afternoon and dinner consisting of Broccoli Soup and Salad.

  31. Bryan Boyle says:

    Breakfast: Cup of coffee.
    Lunch: Mass at the Philly Cathedral, Abp. Chaput celebrating. Eucharist.
    Dinner: Grilled cheese, slice of melon, Cup of tea with lemon

    C’est tout.

    Dr. Peters: I think everyone desires what they can’t have. I found myself gathering wool thinking about a nice barbecued steak….

  32. frahobbit says:

    Since I have risk of fainting from hypoglycemia , caution is required; breakfast = a buttered bagel + coffee; lunch 1/2 potato and egg hero; supper the other half of the hero. NO CANDY. My supervisor keeps seven large candy-filled canisters in view of all, containing m&ms, gummy bears…you get the picture!

  33. capchoirgirl says:

    All the tea references make me think of the Hobbits: “What about second breakfast? Elevenses? Tea time?”
    Hot cocoa/chocolate, interestingly enough, is OK when we fast. So y’all could have that, too.

  34. frahobbit says:

    PS I usually manage, by grace, to go meatless for lent. I hope to do so this year, too.

  35. mamajen says:

    @The Masked Chicken

    Thank you – very helpful.

  36. PA mom says:

    Coffee breakfast, yogurt and old guacamole with chips for lunch and spaghetti with sauce for supper. Will have the privilege of subtly avoiding eating my daughters’ birthday cake (birthday on Ash Wednesday, how often can that happen?). I pray that I don’t forget!

  37. Mom2301 says:

    Breakfast was coffee
    Lunch a large glass of milk
    and just like mamajen we are having cheese manicotti and salad for dinner.

  38. acardnal says:

    I enjoy reading what others are doing today.

    After attending 8 am Mass, I have had my usual three mugs of coffee with non-fat Half & Half (no sugar). Nothing else to eat.

    For lunch hour, maybe a V8 vegetable drink or a V8 V-Fusion bottle. But only if I must – otherwise nothing.

    For dinner (supper), tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

  39. Panterina says:

    No breakfast and no coffee today. It’s gonna be hard (caffeine headaches), but it’s a good opportunity to offer up some suffering.
    No lunch.
    Dinner: Brown rice with swiss chard.

  40. The Sicilian Woman says:

    I don’t eat breakfast anyway, and my meals usually consist of my picking on food throughout the day. Today I’m going to be a little more structured: A simple salad (lettuce and tomatoes) with an avocado around 1pm, then an avocado later in the day. It also helps to live alone and have very little food at home. :-)

  41. Frank H says:

    No breakfast. PBJ for lunch. Maybe grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner. And it dawned on me today that when I hit 59 next week, I am no longer bound by the law for fasting. So I guess I could eat (meatless) to my heart’s content this Good Friday! (But I won’t.)

  42. JacobWall says:

    No meat for lent. Also no coffee. (Particularly pointed for me; I love coffee and normally go for 2-4 cups a day.) My family will be praying the Rosary together every day as well. We’re hoping to establish a habit that we can carry on after lent.

    For today, I had an absolute fast from midnight till lunch. (No food or drink of any kind.) I find that it helps me focus since every time I think of eating or drinking, I pray instead. I had a normal lunch, with a cup of tea and some water.

    I’m going to Mass in the evening at 7 pm, so again no food or drink till afterwards. My plan is to eat only an apple and have a glass of water or two then.

    My priest agreed to hear confession for me before Mass, for which I’m very thankful! (Since we share a priest, and we’re the “secondary” parish, confessions are heard here only on request.) Between the examination of conscience, confession, the fasting, the extra prayers I’ve said today with my family and alone, I feel so far that it’s a good beginning to Lent, an adequate beginning to the preparation.

  43. acardnal says:

    Frank H. wrote, ” And it dawned on me today that when I hit 59 next week, I am no longer bound by the law for fasting.”

    True. And yet I see this written incorrectly many times in bulletins, Catholic periodicals, etc.

    As Canon 1252 says: “All persons who have completed their fourteenth year are bound by the law of abstinence; all adults are bound by the law of fast up to the beginning of their sixtieth year.

    The “beginning of [one's] sixtieth year” is reached on one’s 59th birthday!

  44. JacobWall says:

    Our priest took time during his sermon on Sunday to point out that in Canada, there are only 2 Holy Days of Obligation left, and only 2 days of fasting. He then pointed out that the “fasting” requirement allowed for 1 full meal and 2 snacks, and no meat for a few Fridays was hardly a challenge. He emphasized how easy it would be to do more.

    It’s encouraging to read what people are doing for fasting and abstinence!

  45. New Sister says:

    1 slice bread, 3 sips coffee in a.m.; Flesh of Our LORD at noon; 1 cup veg soup, 1/2 cheese sandwich after Vespers.
    I recommend this excellent sermon on “Fasting & Abstinence in the Tradition of the Church”
    http://www.audiosancto.org/sermon/20110227-Lent-Fasting-and-Abstinence-in-the-Tradition-of-the-Church.html

  46. artdob says:

    On a normal day, I take in roughly 2000 calories so aiming to keep under 1000 today.

    Breakfast: yogurt and coffee
    Lunch: one piece of wheat bread and tablespoon of almond butter
    Dinner: will be something under 650 calories.

  47. fvhale says:

    Since God has blessed me with bearing the cross of an interesting suite of chronic disabilities and diseases, aside from just eating a bit less today, I need to also take care of the fact that I take one med that says “Take on an Empty Stomach” (easy enough in the morning, until Mass and ashes), but then I have to get in two doses during the day of other meds that are “Take with Food.” Just less food.

    So at midday I have dos tortillas con queso fresco y cafe, and meds requiring food.

    No idea yet about the rest of the day.

  48. The Masked Chicken says:

    An important question/comment, especially for those who do not regularly fast:

    If, during the course of the day, one is fasting and one begins to feel light-headed, faint, or mentally confused, eating then becomes a necessity and the ordinary law of fasting is, I presume, to be suspended for as long as the condition occurs. I mention this because I feel terrible, myself, right now and I never have a sense of hunger (so, fasts are not much of a discipline for me).

    Also, fasts must be tailored to one’s occupation and state in life. The, “one full meal,” for an emergency medical technician would, presumably, have to be more substantial than, say, for a librarian, since being mentally alert is crucial for an EMT (most people don’t die from getting the worng book).

    Keep these two points in mind when figuring out your fasting food choices. Obvious medical conditions mitigate or remove the obligation to fast, altogether. This includes people in hospitals (but, probably not, prisons).

    What do you do if you fell poorly, but have no diagnosed medical condition? Well, if you are lkely to get hit by a car crossing the street because your eyes are blurring up or you can’t react well enough to drive home, one might us St. teresa of Avila’s dictum that, “any serious condition announces itself.” If the state you are in is serious enough to jeopardize life or limb, then, when in doubt, eat – your mental processing might just be impaired enough so that you cannot make a proper judgment.

    Any medical doctors out there who want to pitch in a comment?

    Dr. Peter’s – am I correct in assuming that, regarding the fast, “Necessitas non habet legem?”

    The Chicken

  49. Jeannie_C says:

    Grilled cheese sandwich at 11:45, coffee before and after. May not need anything before supper, fish for that meal. For those who enjoy fish more than meat perhaps meatless Fridays aren’t such a sacrifice? Every Lent Father reminds us meatless does not equate to eating lobster. There will be no desserts during Lent nor chocolates or other treats. For someone who has confessed and needs to confess again the sin of gluttony I will do my best.

  50. Banana for brunch.
    Salad for dinner.

  51. fvhale says:

    Light-hearted question for the armchair canon law experts (or real experts, too):

    The edition of CIC83 has a note on c. 1251 that says, “Seafarers are not bound by the law of fast and abstinence prescribed in c. 1251″ with a bunch of citations.

    So, does that mean that if one is at sea on a cruise ship with 24-hour buffets, that one does not need to fast and abstain?

    Surely somebody must have asked this in the past.

  52. Gulielmus says:

    One cup of coffee in the morning. Lentil soup for lunch. Leftover spinach/cheese ravioli and a salad is the plan for dinner. I care for my 91 year-old mother so I made her breakfast, gave her some cheese with the soup for lunch, and have a nice piece of bluefish I’ll broil for her dinner, with rice and salad. She used to fast so strictly during Lent but now it’s hard to keep her weight up and in the past couple of years she’s eased up– but still abstains from meat when it’s called for.

  53. Supertradmum says:

    Well, no brekkie; a Vegemite sandwich and coffee plus banana and 2 small satsumas for lunch; and fish with cabbage and potatoes for din-dins. I miss my tea-time snack of yoghurt and something sweet. But, that is what a penitential day is all about. One never misses things on a regular day.

    Now that I am organized after a friend helped with shopping as I have been ill and snow is still on the ground with outside temperature of 27 F and inside of about 45 F, I shall only have porridge for brekkie, yoghurt and a banana and/or orange for lunch, and whatever for din-dins during Lent.

    Hard not to get to Holy Mass, as still getting over virulent virus. But, watched the last public Mass of the Holy Father live, which was a treat. The blessing, according to electronic experts, is valid if live.

  54. Art says:

    Lunch: One rice noodle roll.

    Dinner: Will do something with Chinese broccoli and a salmon filet.

    Rest of Lent: No meat except Sunday. (Strangely enough, it’s tougher than going entirely meatless for me.)

  55. trespinos says:

    Dinner will be my main meal: salmon, I think. Beans and potato. Lunch will be half of a Trader Joe’s country Italian salad. I may have overdone it at breakfast, having both a bowl of cereal and some yogurt. But what the heck, it’s voluntary, since I’m far, far beyond the upper age limit for fasting anyway.

  56. tealady24 says:

    Coffee for breakfast which could almost be a meal as it is Mystic Monk. Then, honey water for lunch and a piece of pizza and a small piece of salmon for supper. During Lent, I like to abstain as I go; if I want cookies or ice cream, I’ll tell myself “not today”.
    I, too, am beyond the fasting age (never thought THAT would happen), but I do it anyways.
    Living on the Rosary – shouldn’t be too hard . . .

  57. DetJohn says:

    In the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church lent started on Monday, 11 Feb. The Maronites distributed ashes on Monday.

    The Traditional Fast, as posted in the Annunciation Melkite Mission in Covina, Ca is stated as:
    From Mon,. Feb. 11 thru Sat. Mar 30. abstain from meat, dairy, olive oil and wine. Nof food/drink from midnight to noon.

    Modified Fast :Abstain from meat on all Weds. and Fris. Abstain from food and drink from midnight to noon every day (especially first day of Great Le3nt (feb.11) and on last three days of Holy Week (March 28,29,30)

    It is also advised that we attempt to attend the special Lenten Services, read a spiritual book, GO TO CONFESSION, make additional donations for the needy.

    My situation calls for the Modified Fast.

  58. Mari-Lynn says:

    Up at 4:35 AM, breakfast 2 tbs oat bran and 1 egg white, tea with milk and maple syrup. 1 small apple
    In church at 6:30 AM for Confession, 7:00 AM Mass with Distribution of Ashes followed by Morning Prayer.
    Lunch: 1 cup tea
    Dinner: 1 cup soy milk
    Plenty of water during the day to keep hydrated.
    (A medical condition requires that I drink plenty of fluids during the day.)

  59. APX says:

    Dr. Edward Peters says
    It never, EVER fails: all I can think about today is an Arby’s medium roast beef and curly fries. Arghhh!!

    I live in an apartment full of immigrants who don’t appear to be Catholic, as all there delicious food smells are wafting into my apartment. And I’m really craving a Big Mac right now.

    I’m not doing much for Lent. I am, however, rather disappointed that my catholic university isn’t serving anything meat-free today. Even their salads have meat!

  60. TxBSonnier says:

    I’m pregnant as well so I can’t really cut down too much on the amount I eat today. Had a bowl of un-spiced oatmeal (no butter, brown sugar cinnamon or nutmeg) for breakfast and a PB&J sandwich for lunch, planned on some baked fish with broccoli and rice for dinner after mass this evening. Drinking mostly water and milk already due to cutting out caffeine for the baby.

  61. Charlotte Allen says:

    Breakfast: Tuna on toast, black coffee

    Lunch: ???? (scraps of leftover tuna)

    Dinner: Mesclun salad with avocado and almonds, doctored-up canned bean soup (additions: spices, herbs, kale, potatoes, farfalle), wine (just can’t give up wine for lent)

  62. Mariana says:

    Today no lunch (just a mug of tea).
    For Lent: strict low-carb dieting (required for health reasons, now is a good time actually just to DO it!). As it’s a penance for me I offer it up for my husband’s conversion, the Poor Souls, and our beloved pope.

  63. HyacinthClare says:

    Fast till my husband gets home from work, then a big pot of vegetable soup which is smelling up the house right now (mmm!!). For several years we have done without meat and sugar during Lent, and I’m going to try it again, although our priest reminded us that those of us of a CERTAIN AGE are now no longer required to fast! I ought to be better at it now that I’ve been doing it for a hundred years, it seems like… but I’m uncomfortably hungry right now at 2:00 in the afternoon after getting up at 4:30. So I’ll get back to work… help the time pass. Biggest fast this year is going to be blogs, Fr. Z alone excepted. That’s a serious addiction for me.

  64. deliberatejoy says:

    No breakfast, an orange for a mid-afternoon snack, and split-pea curried dal with rice and fresh veggies for supper. No drinks save water.

    I’m a vegetarian, so giving up cheese instead of meat is my big deal. Abstinence insofar as I’m concerned means no dairy or eggs (I’m foregoing those for Lent) and one meal a day, no coffee, tea or juice, and one small snack instead of two. Good Friday will be bread and water.

  65. ocalatrad says:

    The plan is abstaining from meat and sweets. Light breakfast such as toast and coffee, a piece of fruit for lunch and then a full dinner. I read the 7 penitential psalms last year and found it edifying so I’m doing that again this year.

    If you do not yet say a daily Rosary, it’d be a wonderful thing to take it up this Lent and then to keep it up after! You will obtain indescribable graces.

  66. MarnieBarcelona says:

    I can’t fast due to recent stomach surgery and don’t eat much anyway. I did abstain and will not be eating out for the duration of Lent. All money saved will go to the Sisters of Charity in Barcelona. A blessed and joyous Lent to everyone.

  67. acardnal says:

    Chicken, if it helps, and in case you are unaware, drinking liquids is allowed at any time throughout the fast day. So perhaps some orange juice or some tomato juice whenever you feel the need will help.

  68. Skeinster says:

    Over the limit, as well. We are doing a modified Daniel Fast, but he (not a Catholic) can have chicken, and I need a little dairy. Worst part? H2O is the only drink allowed. Giving up black tea last year was hardest abstinence ever. Basically, our goal is non-processed foods, no sweets, not much meat.

    Breakfast: small bowl of fruit and one and 1/2 slices of whole wheat toast, juice, hot water.
    Lunch: 3 slices of small baguette, 1/4 apple, handful of nuts
    Dinner will be either rice and black beans or vegetable curry with a salad. Fruit for dessert.

    And as the Chicken said, let’s not be smarter/holier than the Church, okay?

  69. thefeds says:

    I’ll be enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich, maybe one and a half sandwiches!

  70. The Masked Chicken says:

    Thank, acardnal.

    I wasn’t sure about soft drinks.

    My other comment concerned people who have, perhaps, some hidden medical condition or are constitutionally unable to fast, but don’t know it. The purpose of a fast is mortification. Medical conditions are considered mortifications, in themselves, and in many cases, the whole purpose of the food fast is already satisfied simply by bearing the medical Cross/condition in the same spirit.

    Also, some people simply do not know how to fast. If you have pre-diabetes, but don’t know it, you could cause severe damage to your health by ignoring the slightly slurred speech you suddenly have, all because you want to be a super-spiritual warrior. There can be spiritual pride associated with fasting and it is every bit a sin as eating in a healthy person.

    In my case, I have had some neurological problems recently which get worse if I don’t eat – plus, I didn’t get enough restorative sleep, last night. In my case, since I skipped breakfast, anyway (went to 7:00 am Mass) and only had a bagel, I used my second smaller meal to get a little bread with cheese and some soft drink. Seemed to have done the trick, although I could use a few hundred hours of sleep.

    Now, if you want real mortification and you want to earn your badge as a real spiritual (pardon my expression) badass, try going for 4 days without sleep and trying to do a good days work. Even St. John Vianney said that he could handle the food fasts (he ate a few potatoes a week – HA! take that), but the sleep deprivation was a killer.

    The Chicken

  71. Shamrock says:

    For those with health issues or past age for fasting, one can *fast* using other means such as
    fasting from tv, computer, favorite activities or a favorite beverage such as tea or coffee and
    drink plain water. Eating toast dry w/o butter and limiting to one slice….and with meals
    not using salt or other condiments. Deprivation is same as fasting as both are examples of
    mortification. Going for days without sleep might not be such a good idea as most people
    would start to hallucinate. Common sense ought to be taken into consideration as we do
    not live in total isolation and should not be putting others at risk.

  72. bernadette says:

    I am over the age limit but am still strong and healthy so I really have no excuse.
    Breakfast- a protein bar and some pineapple
    Lunch- a peanut butter sandwich
    Dinner- two small slices of leftover vegetarian pizza

  73. Odin777 says:

    Bread and water fast for me

  74. acardnal says:

    Chicken, I am not sure about soft drinks. I would think it laudatory to avoid them though since they have no nutritional value.

  75. APX says:

    If you have pre-diabetes, but don’t know it, you could cause severe damage to your health by ignoring the slightly slurred speech you suddenly have, all because you want to be a super-spiritual warrior

    As far as I know (I was tested a couple years ago) I don’t have pre-diabetes, but diabetes does run in my family, thus I am at risk. Nevertheless, I can’t really use that as an excuse not to fast, especially considering the Church’s fasting laws are more lenient than the fast required to test for diabetes or pre-diabetes, which don’t permit eating anything for 24 hours. It’s when I start getting the taste of sugar in my mouth that I start to get a little concern, and I do strive to keep my blood-sugar levels relatively stable, by eating a teensy bit in the morning and evening.

  76. Imrahil says:

    Breakfast: water. (Yeah, I’ll return to coffee tomorrow. Only, somehow it feels Ash Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.)
    Lunch: A nice plate of Italian gnocchi at a cafeteria… plus a pretzel rod, and apple juice. Eaten very slowly. It has to hold for a while.
    Dinner: well, a pretzel waiting for the subway. Though it’d be about time to use my collation allowance…
    Supper: a sip of fruit juice in much water (the way I preferredly drink them and not fasting-specific). After all “liquida non frangunt jejunium”.

    Works fantastically fine… I usually get headaches on the “one meal only” rule (I somehow do not see that as a medicinical issue), this day not the slightest bit. Only a little hungry before “supper”.

    Seems I totally renounced second breakfast, elevenses, and afternoon tea, according to Peregrin Took’s schedule.

  77. Lynn Diane says:

    This morning at Mass I was accidentally given two hosts as I knelt at the altar rail, which reminded me of Elisha requesting a double portion of Elijah’s spirit except that I received a double portion of the Lord.

    Breakfast – a cup of Mystic Monk coffee. Lunch – slice of whole wheat bread with melted cheese and some fruit. Dinner – eggplant and tomato quiche with a salad, with which I can also cheerfully feed my non-Catholic husband.

  78. OrthodoxChick says:

    I didn’t know that the beginning age for fasting is 18! I always thought that once a child received their First Communion, they were bound to at least the meatless fast, though not skipping meals. You mean my mom made me eat fried sole (and I dislike most kinds of fish) every Friday all year (not just during Lent) throughout my childhood, when I was actually exempt from fasting??!!! When my kids are on Fr. Z’s blog tonight to feed Basil, I’ll have to make sure this thread is not up, otherwise, I’ll never hear the end of it. Even my 4 year old went meatless today because she wanted to copy her older siblings. She had waffles (sans her usual sausage links) for breakfast, yogurt and cheese for lunch with apple juice, and a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. Water and juice throughout the day upon request. Those types of foods are her preference anyway. She’s a cheese fanatic, so no complaints have been lodged thus far.

    My 12 year old announced yesterday that he wanted to try doing a bread and water fast today for Ash Wednesday. So, I’m trying it too, not because I’m a heroic faster. It’s just so he doesn’t think his mom’s a complete whimp, which I am. If this keep’s up, this boy’s going to make me grow in holiness instead of the other way around.

    P.S. I second Dr. Peters’ Arby’s fixation. Is it midnight yet???!!!

  79. liberanos says:

    Dr. Peters,
    Much sympathy for your Arbys craving. I work in food service, and spent 6 non-stop hours today making meals for the rest of the world. We have several pretty delicious meatless options, so it’s a blessing for me that there are only two mandatory fasting days in the year. I find it easier to fast when it’s NOT mandatory. Now that my work is done, the rest of the day will be easy!

  80. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I usually get headaches on the “one meal only” rule (I somehow do not see that as a medicinical issue),”

    Many people get these sorts of headaches because their blood sugar drops which seems to hyper-excite the Trigeminal nerve. This is just your garden variety headache. It will go away with time or aspirin. No real reason not to stop the fast.

    If not eating triggers migraine headaches, then, in my opinion, one should be dispensed from fasting, altogether. Migraines can be vicious, cause personality changes, inability to stand up, dizziness, etc. Since we don’t really know the causes of migraines and the treatments can involve hospitalization (one of my students had migraines so bad she couldn’t stand up to get to class and had to got to the hospital), IF fasting is a known trigger, then obviously, don’t fast.

    Now, there is a third thing to consider about headaches. Headaches are a reflection of vascular inflammation and for people with vascular problems, inflammation is especially bad (it’s bad for everyone, but for these people, even more). In my case, vascular inflammation can cause the blood vessels in my brainstem to bleed, so getting a headache from not eating becomes problematic. I never used to get such headaches until a few years, ago, so fasting back them was probably not only alright, but beneficial, not only spiritually, but physically. Now, I’m not so sure. Of course, if you have a headache and are vomiting, call an ambulance, immediately, because you may have either a tumor or an aneurysm.

    Just a little note about headaches and fasting from your friendly neighborhood Chicken (ha ha – you can’t eat me, today…)

    The Chicken

  81. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Chicken, I am not sure about soft drinks. I would think it laudatory to avoid them though since they have no nutritional value.”

    Well, since the Church allows fruit juices, which contain fructose, pectins, tannins, etc., I can’t see how it can not allow something that is, essentially, high fructose corn syrup (don’t get me started – I know all about the evil HFCS), carbonated water, with a little sodium citrate and sodium benzoate – this is closer to water than a fruit juice. It is, essentially, a form of mineral water with sugars added. While HFCS is badly metabolized, it is a source of liquid carbohydrates for those of us who don’t get paid until Friday. Since soft drinks did not exist in 1917 (unless you count the lithium and cocaine spiked pre-cursors to 7-UP and CocaCola), and there is no ruling in any current document of which I am aware (someone correct me, if they know of any) that classifies soft drinks as, “food,”, then the rule that Church permissions should be interpreted broadly seems to come into play.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    The Chicken

  82. acardnal says:

    Chicken, you could always have a beer. Alcohol isn’t prohibited. LOL

  83. The Masked Chicken says:

    Alcohol is a vaso-dialator and then a vaso-constrictor. Not good for my blood vessels. Besides, a beer-batter chicken sounds just so wrong for the day :)

    The Chicken

  84. ajf1984 says:

    Dry toast and Dayquil tablets for breakfast (had to take them with some kind of food!), no lunch, leftover roasted potatoes from last night’s Shrove Tuesday meal for tonight’s more penitential one!

  85. The Masked Chicken says:

    Although not authoritative, I found this from the online Catholic Encyclopedia:

    “In some places eggs, milk, butter, cheese and fish are prohibited, while bread, cake, fruit, herbs and vegetables are allowed. In other places, milk, eggs, cheese, butter and fish are permitted, owing either to custom or to Indult. This is the case in the United States [note: in 1913]. However, in order to form judgments perfectly safe concerning this point, the Lenten regulations of each diocese should be carefully read. Finally, a little tea, coffee, chocolate or such like beverage together with a morsel of bread or a cracker is now allowed in the morning. Strictly speaking, whatever may be classified under the head of liquids may be taken as drink or medicine at any time of the day or night on fasting days. Hence, water, lemonade, soda, water, ginger ale, wine, beer and similar drinks may be taken on fasting days outside meal time even though such beverages may, to some extent, prove nutritious. Coffee, tea, diluted chocolate, electuaries made of sugar, juniper berries, and citron may be taken on fasting days, outside meal time, as medicine by those who find them conducive to health. Honey, milk, soup, broth, oil or anything else having the nature of food, is not allowed under either of the two categories already specified.”

    The Chicken

  86. CatholicByChoice says:

    Just curious: is anyone planning to fast for the full 40 days of Lent (not including the Sundays — right?)

    My fasting today was:
    Breakfast: 1/3 slice of bread with peanut butter, 1 cup of coffee.
    Lunch: Small bowl of mac & cheese, and 1 cup of coffee.
    Dinner: a bowl of bean,veggie and pasta-shell soup (made a big pot of soup today), with 1 cup of coffee.
    Had a fourth cup of coffee while making the soup. No snacks at all.

  87. I smelled some of my colleague’s lunch from the other room. The parking lot had some odors coming from the restaurant next door to our office. I will have some water before I go to bed. But Jesus is still my Savior; only His death atones for my sins. Like the small boy with the barley loaves and fish, I bring a small offering to Jesus, what little I can manage, and He takes it to God with His own offering and makes it into something acceptable to the Father.

  88. jhayes says:

    Mamajen wrote “Reading through the other comments has me a little worried about whether I was taught properly, though. I was always told that two very small meals and one “regular” meal (albeit meatless) were appropriate. Is skipping two meals entirely (assuming you are healthy and able) what is required, or are all of you going the extra mile out of preference? I know that I don’t need to worry if I honestly didn’t know the requirements in years past, but I’d like to do the right thing in the future.”

    Don’t worry. Here are the Lenten Regulation for my archdiocese. You should be able to find yours on your diocesan website, but they are probably very similar to these.

    Note that there are only two days of required fasting during Lent: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. People under 18 and over 59 are exempt.

    Only Ash Wednesday and all Fridays are days of required abstinence. People under 14 are exempt.

    Many people writing here are voluntarily taking on more stringent programs – but are not obliged to do so (unless their diocese requires more than mine does)

    “Abstinence — Catholics over 14 years of age are bound to the obligation of abstinence. Abstinence is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent. On days of abstinence, meat may not be used at all.

    Fast — Catholics over 18 and up to the beginning of their 60th year are bound to the obligation of fasting. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the days of fasting. On these days, only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed.

    Regarding other weekdays of Lent, participation in daily Mass and the voluntary observance of fasting is recommended.

    Commendable, particularly during Lent, is generosity to local, national and world programs of sharing our abundance, the traditional Lenten Devotions and all the self-denial summed up in the Christian concept of “mortification.”

    http://www.bostoncatholic.org/Offices-And-Services/Office-Detail.aspx?id=12444&pid=464

  89. jhayes says:

    To avoid confusion, note that my “Over 59″ is intended to mean that you have reached your 60th birthday. As the archdiocesan website says you have reached “the beginning of [your] 60th year”.

  90. jj_nycguy says:

    Breakfast: Wager and one gatorade for medical reasons.
    Lunch: Water.
    Snack: Water.
    Dinner: Medium dish of spaghetti w/oil and garlic with water.
    Snack: Water.

    My plan is a partial fast for all 40-days. Of course, daily Rosary (on the train to work).
    I will also try to go to Church for Stations of the Cross. Although kneeling and getting up
    at each station makes me feel ill, I plan to do it anyways.

  91. jhayes says:

    Chicken quoted: “In some places eggs, milk, butter, cheese and fish are prohibited, while bread, cake, fruit, herbs and vegetables are allowed. In other places, milk, eggs, cheese, butter and fish are permitted, owing either to custom or to Indult.”

    I think the more recent distinction is:

    “III. § 1. Abstinentiae lex vetat carne vesei, non autem ovis, lacticiniis et quibuslibet condimentis etiam ex adipe animalium.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19660217_paenitemini_lt.html

    III. 1. The law of abstinence forbids the use of [animal] meat, but not of eggs, the products of milk or condiments made of animal fat.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6PAEN.htm

  92. Stumbler but trying says:

    A bit late here but I had no breakfast. Lunch was a bowl of cereal. Dinner were two fish tacos and some strawberries. I will skip eating out over the Lenten season and try to fast on Fridays and cut back on everything if I can.

    I read this and found it sweet and amusing…God bless them all.
    “It’s time for one last chocolate biscuit…”
    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/2013/02/07/its-time-for-one-last-chocolate-biscuit/

  93. jhayes says:

    New Orleans confirms you can eat alligator on days of abstinence:

    http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/.a/6a00d834515a9a69e2017d410f2293970c-pi