Well, well. It comes up quick! Ash Wednesday is almost upon us.
We still have one day, and that means there’s still time to sort a few things out. So, keep thinking about your Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving commitments. Look up Mass times for tomorrow. Daydream about pancakes. You know the drill.
For most of us, tomorrow won’t be our first rodeo. We’ve done Ash Wednesday before. But, this time around, let’s raise the bar a bit.
And, it starts with asking – what does it really mean to fast?
During Lent, we abstain from meat on Fridays. But, there are only two days of the year that we are asked to abstain from meat AND fast. That’s Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Abstaining from meat is pretty self explanatory. So then, what does it mean to fast? Or, for many of us, the real question is – how much can I eat, and it still count as fasting?
The official answer – Fasting means eating one full meal and two smaller meals which do not equal one full meal. So, a small breakfast, small lunch, and normal dinner.
And, this is where we pause…Let’s be honest. That’s not difficult.
We’re grown men. I drive a Dodge Stratus! (Sorry, SNL joke).
But, seriously – two small meals and one normal one? (If you’ve got health issues, that’s another story. Or, if you’re nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant…)
Let’s up the ante. I challenge all of us (myself included) to only consume bread and water for breakfast and lunch (normal dinner). AND, this is the kicker, we can’t be grumpy, miserable, complaining, gotta-have-a-Snickers jerks all day.
It’s one day. The survival rule of 3 states you can survive THREE WEEKS without food. This isn’t even a full day.
The gauntlet has been thrown.
Be the Men.