January 18, 2009

Fasting Before Communion

Reposted from Thursday, October 25th, 2007

communionParishWorld.net has a wonderful article on the traditional one-hour fast before receiving Holy Communion. In the article, Fr.William Saunders reminds us that fasting is an exercise of humility, hope and love รข€” essential virtues in preparing to receive the Holy Eucharist.

In Sacred Scripture, fasting was a physical preparation for a spiritual encounter — for entering into the presence of God. Moses fasted 40 days before receiving the 10 commandments, Jesus fasted 40 days before his public ministry began. Fasting in general is a way to mortify the flesh (to remind ourselves that our bodies are not in charge) so that we can more fully hunger for Christ and His holiness and His presence in our bodies as we take Him in the form of the host.

Jesus said in the beatitudes, “Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill” (Mt 5:6).

It’s a beautiful tradition if you ask me. One in which we prepare our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, to receive the Lord of all.

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