SEASON TO LEARN HUMILITY
The season of Lent is the season of humiliation or attaining the
virtues of humility. Christ fasted to show us the necessity of
fasting. We fast to subdue the flesh that has rebelled against
God in paradise.
We must do nothing except with Him in our eye. It is through
Him alone that we have power to do anything good. So, unless we
do it for Him, it is not good. Our obedience comes from him;
towards Him it must look. No work is good without the grace of
Christ made fasting a means of grace. Fasting is only
acceptable when it is done for His sake. We must fast in
imitation of Christ, otherwise, we are Jews or pagans but not
He retired from the world and confirmed this duty upon us. He
did it before His own ministry. He also did it before He chose
His apostles; "He went to the mountain to pray and continued all
night in prayer before God."
Praying the whole night is a self-chastisement of the same kind as
fasting. Christ often went to pray at night for our imitation.
. .if we would be perfect like Him.
St. Paul mentioned his suffering "in watchings, in fastings."
St. Peter fasted in Joppa in the house of one Simon. Moses and
Elijah fasted. Daniel for three full weeks ate no bread nor
wine, neither did he anoint himself at all.
Christ's fasting was introductory to the temptation of the devil.
Before He was tempted, He fasted. His fasting is not a
preparation for the conflict; it is the cause of the conflict.
Fasting opens the world of good and evil upon us; it introduces us
into battle with the powers of evil.
Fasting is our first step in approaching God -- an approach to the
powers of heaven. Yes, and to the powers of hell. By
fasting, we confess that we are sinners and doing penance for sins.
We are falling down in humility but with God's sword in hand,
fighting a generous warfare and from whom devils tremble at and
Christ had three temptations and thrice He conquered them. Later,
He would say: This kind can come forth by nothing but by
prayer and fasting. Fasting and prayer give the soul power over
unseen word. It gives Christians high and royal power above
and over his fellows.
Lent is telling us that we shall obtain our spiritual goal, not by
a day of humiliation or a day of prayer but, by a life persevering in
Angels will be sent to us who truly seek God. Daniel, Elijah
and Cornellius were visited by angels while they were fasting and
praying . "He will give His angels charge over you to keep you
in all Thy ways."
He who fasts and prays is with God and the devil knows who is
master. The devil has power only over those in sin. His
object is to surprise man to sin. He has no other way to
So let us not be ignorant of the devil's devices and watch, fast and
pray. Let us pray to know God's Will, to teach us our faults,
to remove from us whatever will offend Him and to lead us to way
everlasting. Let us learn how to repent, to confess and amend.
John Cardinal Newman