Lent has ‘moved too far from fasting’

Lent has ‘moved too far from fasting’

We have moved too far away from traditional fasting says a Glenstal Abbey monk.

Fr Fintan Lyons OSB, has said “I feel we have gone too far in avoiding the older practice of fasting from food; in the Church’s tradition it was associated with feasts, the fast before the feast, and based on what the Lord said about fasting in the absence of the Bridegroom.”

He said Irish bishops “while recommending abstinence from meat on Fridays, even recommended fasting from all food for a longer period than usual and perhaps giving what is saved to the needy”, among other forms of penance, said Fr Fintan.

Bishops in England reintroduced the Friday fast there around nine years ago.

Fr Richard Hendrick OFM CAP has said: “There’s a huge amount to be said for the traditional practice of fasting, limiting one’s food.” However, he feels that doing good deeds instead of abstaining from or restricting food is a positive form of fasting.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the only two official days of fasting in Ireland. Fr Fintan is soon to publish his book Food, Feast and Fast, published by columbabooks.com

Gerard Gallagher a Pastoral Co-ordinator in the Archdiocese of Dublin thinks we need to do something different to mark lent: “We can use the days of Lent to maybe change some of our habits, change our ways of doing things and many initiate new changes to help resync our prayer life and our Faith.”