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Full Version: Seeking God's will, NOT our will -- the benefits of Lenten fasting.
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I was at a TLM on Monday evening, and the priest gave a truly beautiful sermon on the benefit of following the Church's traditional fasting/abstinence laws.  In his words, it's a perfect way to submit our will to God's holy will, by submitting ourselves totally to the authority of His Church.  I can't quite explain why or how, but the words just really resonated with me.  I think that, despite my prayers and fastings, I've often remained very proud and self-willed.  I'm going to pray that everything I experience be offered to God as a sacrifice, and that HIS will always be done, not my will.  I think this is the way we REALLY "let go and let God", and FULLY submit to the will of God.
We just finished our Parish Mission last night and the missioner made that point as well.
(02-28-2018, 01:23 PM)FultonFan Wrote: [ -> ]I was at a TLM on Monday evening, and the priest gave a truly beautiful sermon on the benefit of following the Church's traditional fasting/abstinence laws.  In his words, it's a perfect way to submit our will to God's holy will, by submitting ourselves totally to the authority of His Church.  I can't quite explain why or how, but the words just really resonated with me.  I think that, despite my prayers and fastings, I've often remained very proud and self-willed.  I'm going to pray that everything I experience be offered to God as a sacrifice, and that HIS will always be done, not my will.  I think this is the way we REALLY "let go and let God", and FULLY submit to the will of God.

That's one of my biggest problems with the new "abstain on Fridays, or else do some other penance" idea.

The act that is demanded by the Church law requires obedience. Obedience is a virtue that directly repairs for sin (which is always a disobedience to God's law or the Church's law).

Once your choice comes into the mix (do this, or whatever you decide and consider an act of penance), it is no longer clearly an act of obedience.

You are obliged to eat a meal. Traditionally you had to eat precisely what was put before you, so you had to conform your will to accept what was given. Now you are told you have to eat, and you should eat what is served, but if you'd prefer to eat something else more to your liking, that's fine.

Where is the conforming of one's will there?

Further, one reason it was always considered a grave obligation is because it was a law. A law must have a clear and direct object. If it does not, it is not a good law, because it cannot command. But the law does not clearly command any actions, so someone could choose to say an extra "Hail Mary" and he would be fulfilling the letter of the law. That not being a grave penance, there cannot be a grave obligation, so the law, by not being specific seems to remove any way of binding anyone under pain of grave sin.

Lenten Friday are different in the U.S., of course, since the law is still clear, but then again, it's not well known and not well publicized. 

So it may still be a penance, but it loses a great deal of the value that the original Apostolic penance had due to the fact that it was concrete and an act of submission conforming oneself to the Church's demands. It is no longer that if we get to choose.
It's funny since in today's world, avoiding meat is harder than ever. Everywhere you go people are eating meat and you're smelling meat (and it's oh so delicious), and you have meat in your fridge and/or freezer. It's everywhere. To avoid it out of love for God and obedience to the Church is a great penance and instead the hierarchy has made it "optional".
(02-28-2018, 05:45 PM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]It's funny since in today's world, avoiding meat is harder than ever. Everywhere you go people are eating meat and you're smelling meat (and it's oh so delicious), and you have meat in your fridge and/or freezer. It's everywhere. To avoid it out of love for God and obedience to the Church is a great penance and instead the hierarchy has made it "optional".

Not in my house! Of course, the Dear Wife is a vegetarian, and I can't smell, so it's not much of a problem. Which is why, even tho' I abstain every day in Lent, except Sundays and I Class Feasts, I try to add extras, like more visits, making the Stations, etc.
(02-28-2018, 01:23 PM)FultonFan Wrote: [ -> ]I was at a TLM on Monday evening, and the priest gave a truly beautiful sermon on the benefit of following the Church's traditional fasting/abstinence laws.  In his words, it's a perfect way to submit our will to God's holy will, by submitting ourselves totally to the authority of His Church.  I can't quite explain why or how, but the words just really resonated with me.  I think that, despite my prayers and fastings, I've often remained very proud and self-willed.  I'm going to pray that everything I experience be offered to God as a sacrifice, and that HIS will always be done, not my will.  I think this is the way we REALLY "let go and let God", and FULLY submit to the will of God.

Me too... At this juncture of life when I feel completely lost, broken and an utter failure, the efforts to achieve my aspirations going down the drain and the envy of others getting more benefits in life like gadgets and expensive stuff while I'm currently stuck up - all this has just caused me agony and distress... :-/

I also think that it is high time to submit myself to God's Will...! But this time, FULLY...!