Year of Faith: Fasting
Fasting is refraining from food and drink as an expression of interior penance, in imitation of the fast of Jesus for 40 days in the desert. Fasting is an ascetical practice recommended in Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers. The Church’s fourth precept clearly states, “You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.” The Church requires that we fast from food and drink (except for water) one hour before we receive the holy Eucharist. During the season of Lent, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fast and abstinence for those from ages 18-60. During the rest of the liturgical year, the faithful are free to choose a form of penance to practice on Fridays.