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Full Version: The Apostles' Fast (aka the Fast in Honour of Sts Peter & Paul)
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Does anyone follow this fast? It's for the 40 days TO the Feast of Sts Peter & Paul) - as it's on 29 June this year, by my reckoning that means starting on 19 May. Are Sundays excluded from this fast much as they are during Lent?

The information I've read states "No meat or meat products, eggs or dairy products. Fish, oil and wine are allowed except on Wednesdays & Fridays." Would this include the oil in bread and pasta? If so, what on earth does one eat?! Just fruit and salad, by the look of things, but I'd be grateful for the insight of others.

In anticipation …
Get your confessor (or spiritual director) to approve such a significant penance. This will ensure it is God's Will for you.

If you do not run such penances by a confessor or director, you are much less likely to get the spiritual benefit from them that they could offer, and you are much more likely to fall into pride as a result, or at least fail to have the proper intention.

As regards fasting, the current law (and generally the spirit of the Church) is that one is exempted from fast and abstinence on Sundays or on the great Feast days (Solemnities/First Class). Thus, unless you have the approval of a spiritual director to fast on such days, you ought not to.

In general, I don't think I would recommend to most people to do more than the Church has traditionally obliged as regards penance until it is clear that they have developed in their spiritual life to the extent that they rarely fail in their daily duty of state. Once they have their daily duties and the penances that naturally follow down to an habitual practice, then they are ready for more. Until then, the Church and life provide more than sufficient penances for most.

It is important that when we are still progressing in our spiritual life we take kid-sized bites, lest we choke. When we have sufficiently developed, then, perhaps, we are ready for more significant bites of penances.
(04-04-2016, 10:43 AM)ColinT Wrote: [ -> ]Does anyone follow this fast? It's for the 40 days TO the Feast of Sts Peter & Paul) - as it's on 29 June this year, by my reckoning that means starting on 19 May. Are Sundays excluded from this fast much as they are during Lent?

The information I've read states "No meat or meat products, eggs or dairy products. Fish, oil and wine are allowed except on Wednesdays & Fridays." Would this include the oil in bread and pasta? If so, what on earth does one eat?! Just fruit and salad, by the look of things, but I'd be grateful for the insight of others.

In anticipation …

That's more an Eastern thing, not part of Western Catholic fasting periods. Are you Eastern Catholic? At any rate I would suggest you follow the advice of MagisterMusicae on this one and discuss with a confessor/spiritual director.

I should add that in the Eastern churches, the forty days of Lent usually include Sundays unlike here in the West where the customs and laws regarding fasting are different. Also, the Apostles fast can vary in length, some years being as short as eight days. It begins on the second monday after pentecost as observed in Eastern churches. Along with Lent and the Apostles fast, there is also the Nativity fast (Advent) which actually is 40 days in Eastern traditions and the Fast of the Dormition which is the 14 days before the Assumption.

Like the others said, you should ask your spiritual director before doing any penances of this sort. However, I think you could get away with fasting on the Eve of these feasts and some during Advent. Just make sure you run it through a confessor or a priest who knows you well, if you don't you can risk running into spiritual pride.
(04-05-2016, 11:12 AM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]Like the others said, you should ask your spiritual director before doing any penances of this sort. However, I think you could get away with fasting on the Eve of these feasts and some during Advent. Just make sure you run it through a confessor or a priest who knows you well, if you don't you can risk running into spiritual pride.

If one does not have a director or regular confessor a good rule of thumb is never to take on a voluntary penance which exceeds a day in length, or which exceeds what the Church has traditionally (in recent history) imposed on the average faithful as a penance. And this only insofar as it does not impact your daily duty of state.

Thus to fast voluntarily for a day (outside of the normal traditional fast of Lent, Ember Days or the Vigils) would be fine. This extra fast should not exceed one day per week, and should not be habitual (e.g. every Wednesday). If performing such a voluntary fast it should conform to the normal rules of the Church (not total avoidance of food, but one main meal with two optional small collations). If you want to make this habitual or do a bread-and-water fast, run it by your director as this exceeds what the Church typically obliges.

To abstain voluntarily for a day when it is not obliged (or traditionally was obliged, e.g. Ember days) is fine, but should not be more than a day a week, and only occasionally, not habitually. Again, if you want to make it habitual, ask a director.

To say an extra Rosary, attend an extra Mass, say the penitential psalms, or anything similar which the Church has traditionally imposed as penances (or which are common penances for the confession of a grave sin), are fine, again, so long as these are done occasionally and not self-imposed for more than a day a week without the approval or a director.

Beyond that one should discuss voluntary penances, especially ones which are intended to be habitual, with a director or confessor.

And all of that presumes that one is making a serious effort to never omit the normal daily duties, rarely failing in such duties, and is able to regularly and habitually offer up the normal sufferings of each day.
What Magister Musicae said. He's usually right about these things.
BTW, the Apostles' Fast is of variable length. In the Byzantine rite, the Sunday after Pentecost is the Sunday of All Saints; the fast runs from the following Monday through June 28.
(04-05-2016, 11:33 PM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]What Magister Musicae said. He's usually right about these things.

Thanks for the praise, but it's not me ... I'm just parroting (or at least explaining a bit more at length) what a good spiritual director once told me:

We must do voluntary penance. First we must have our daily life and spiritual life in order before adding other duties or penances, or we are not corresponding to the daily graces received and cannot expect to receive more for some added thing. Then, any voluntary penance may never disrupt our normal daily duties. If that's the case, we can take on (without a director's permission) a single (not habitual) penance if it is a penance or duty that the Church has traditionally imposed on the faithful or which is sufficient for a confessor to give when a mortal sin is confessed. Such things include a Rosary, attending an extra Mass, reception of Communion, giving of alms, extra spiritual reading or scripture reading, extra visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or the Penitential Psalms,among others.

If we are to make it habitual or more extensive, a confessor or director must approve, to ensure it is God's will and not merely our pride.