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13

This practice is attested as early as the first half of the third century, by Tertullian and particularly Hippolytus. Tertullian addresses the topic tangentially while addressing the dangers of women marrying non-Christians. Their husbands will notice their Christian practices, such as fasting before taking communion, and may put pressure on them to stop: ...


11

It is indeed about the Pharisees. Here's what Shmuel Safrai's paper “Religion in Everyday Life" says: Mondays and Thursdays, which were synagogue days, when country-folk came to town and the courts sat and the Torah was read, were the favoured days for public and private fasts. People would assemble for prayer, mention the reason for the fast, as follows ...


9

As far as we can tell, Christian twice-weekly fasting was based on Jewish twice-weekly fasting. Given the later tension between Jews and Christians, this makes an early adoption date likely. Further evidence comes from the Didache (dating probably to the first century): Your fasts should not be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays. ...


8

Fr. William P. Saunders of Catholic Straight Answers gives the following reasons for fasting before Communion: The most important point regarding this question concerns why we ought to [ever] fast. St. Paul reminds us, "Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed" (II ...


8

The USCCB website has several questions and answers about Lenten observances. The last one of these is: Q. Are there exemptions other than for age from the requirement to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? A. Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering ...


7

Our own wickedness is the cause of the wickedness around the world. Personal fasting is a sign of personal repentance that, it is hoped, will lead God to mitigate similar evils in the world. Pope Francis said this: “We will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each ...


7

From a Question and answer page from the United States conference of Catholic Bishops: Q. Are there exemptions other than for age from the requirement to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday? A. Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering from chronic ...


7

What kinds of liquids can Catholics have while fasting? First of all let us look at the rules for fasting and abstinence in the Roman Catholic Church. Here is what Pope St. Paul VI has to say in his Apostolic Constitution Paenitemini. The Code of Canon Law (1983) in the Latin Rite reflects this completely. II. 1. The time of Lent preserves its penitential ...


6

It wouldn't, except that people might expect you to be like "The hypocrites": They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. (Matthew 6:16) You might expect this dialogue: Hey Joe, you OK these days? Man, you gotta take care of yourself, you know, shower once in a while, wash the hair, right? Hey man, lay off, I'...


6

I don't see this particular passage referred to in, for example, the Summa Theologica (where I might expect to see it in an Objection to a discussion of whether priests should be celibate). In fact, I don't see in the Summa (though surely it must be somewhere) any discussion of the question of priestly celibacy. In the (standard Catholic) New American Bible,...


6

Yes. "Binding" and "obligatory" mean exactly what it looks like: "are binding upon" means "apply to", and "obligatory" means "mandatory" or "compulsory." From the Code of Canon Law: 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be ...


6

I attend the older Latin Rite and we still fast from the midnight before. It should be noted that, as a disciplinary measure, to humble the spirit and body, it does not comprise any intrinsic doctrine or 'Tradition'. The Pope could remove the fast altogether if he so chose. It is to remind you that you are to recieve the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of ...


5

When Did Catholics Cease to Fast as the Orthodox Do? There are three general phases on how, when and why the Catholic Church changed her way of fasting. it seems all three stages must be seen in the same light in order to understand how this phenomena came about. The Catholic Church over some extended time in the 20th century slowly relaxed the laws on ...


5

Wine and oil are both blessings from God: "wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine," as it says in Ps. 104:15. We forego these with other pleasures on the strictest fasting days. With respect to wine, you are misinformed. In most Orthodox churches we abstain from all alcoholic beverages on strict fasting days. (The Russians seem to make ...


5

It's not the fasting that affects violent situations in the Middle East, it's what God leads you to do next. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps you focus on God. It's a sacrifice that underscores the seriousness of your prayers. Hunger reminds you to pray and meditate. God responds to prayer by guiding you to actions that you can take to help. You ...


4

From your question: since [...], there isn't a readily apparent scriptural basis for it[.] Interesting comment... And Jesus said to them: Can the children of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast. (Matthew 9:15) Jesus speaking ...


4

The Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity on this topic points us to The Shepherd of Hermas. This work is dated to about the same time as the Didache (last first or early second century) and bears some similarities with it, and describes more specifically how a Christian is to fast: First of all, be on your guard against every evil word, and every evil ...


4

To understand the full reason of when and why the Catholic Church changed the Eucharistic fast we must look into the whole history of receiving Holy Communion. Pope St. Pius X (1903 to 1914) in his Sacra Tridentina of December 20, 1905 changed old traditional age of being allowed to receive Holy Communion and encouraged frequent Communion and not just only ...


4

Have you heard of any catechism lesson FORBIDDING ... I think your whole question is based on some massive misconception: As I already wrote in a comment, your question seems to based on the assumption that religion exercise can be done by observing a set of unambiguous rules. I have often read questions similar to yours in some internet forums where ...


4

The Wikipedia article on the Didache states (under the heading 'Fasting'), the following : Chapter 8 suggests that fasts are not to be on Monday and Thursday "with the hypocrites" — presumably non-Christian Jews, such as the Pharisees — but on Wednesday and Friday. Fasting Wednesday and Friday plus worshiping on Sunday constituted the Christian week. Nor ...


4

There is nothing about Lent observance that requires it to be public. My experience is very different from yours, and most people keep their Lent observances very private. I don't know what anyone is doing for Lent except for my immediate family (I have deduced one person's Lent observance, but even then it was something they kept as private as possible.) ...


4

How is Lent observance reconciled with Matthew 6:16-18? Lent can be as private as on wishes. The public nature of Lent observance is generally limited the liturgical days of Ash Wednesday and other liturgical days in Lent. Our individual practices can and should remain between ourselves and God. Apart from the only two days in which fasting and abstinence ...


3

Let's break down the scriptures you used. This kind... In Matthew 12:45 we read that there is a demonic hierarchy. Some demons are more wicked, or more powerful, than others. Matthew 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse ...


3

Charles Alsobrook is on the right path in pointing you toward the changes made by Vatican II. The Catholic fasting rules used to be much stricter but have relaxed significantly since Vatican II. However, even among Orthodox churches the fasting rule varies in regards to the specifics (for example, which kinds of oil are allowed). This probably held true ...


3

According to Wikipedia: The time and type of fast is generally uniform for all Orthodox Christians; the times of fasting are part of the ecclesiastical calendar, and the method of fasting is set by the Holy Canons and Sacred Tradition. Sacred tradition could mean just about anytime (well, within reason...), but I found some things on fasting within the ...


3

To add to the answer given by Wtrmute, I would point out that it is not the Church that demands it but Christ himself. The Catholic Church Confirms and conforms to the teachings of Christ in it's Canon. Matthew 6:16-18 the wording is clear. It says "When" not "If", "you fast". The understanding of the Church is that Fasting is something that is required ...


3

Prior to the Council decision in 417 CE, Augustine opined in letter 54 in 400 CE that "for the honour of so great a sacrament, that the body of the Lord should take the precedence of all other food entering the mouth of a Christian;". Augustine recognized that the Lord and apostles ate the Thanksgiving [Eucharist] after eating (Mat. 26:26, etc), but ...


3

I assume this is for lent? Wikipedia indicates your mother is correct. In part it says: In the Roman Rite Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and finishes on Holy Saturday. This comprises a period of 46 days. This includes 6 Sundays which are not considered part of Lent because Sundays are days of celebration for Catholics. You should consult a priest or ...


3

Regarding whether the Church can impose fasting as a matter of precept, St. Thomas Aquinas writes (Summa Theologica II-II q. 147 a. 3 ad 2): It will be a mortal sin to disobey a commandment through contempt of the lawgiver's authority, or to disobey it in such a way as to frustrate the end intended by him: but it is not a mortal sin if one fails to keep a ...


3

To his disciples, regarding fasting, Jesus says : But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. [Matthew 6:17,18 KJV] So, regarding those who follow the words of Jesus, it would be impossible ...


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