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I'm not internationally known but I'm known to rock a microphone.
That was a song I heard the other day because it is from back in the day
but it literally I heard it the other day. Yeah, OK.
Hi my name's Father Mike Schmitz and this is Ascension Presents.
So, I don't know if you saw, but recently I was interviewed for The Wall Street Journal
or the wall as I like to call it, Michael Scott. It was interesting. It was
an article that was about how many Christians Catholics these days
are using Lent as an opportunity to get fit.
You know, they're trying to increase some kind of healthy habits
and they're trying to— like a self-help Lent kind of a thing.
And you know what do I think about that and so after like a
30 minute interview there was like one little quote enough and I was like I had
not ... that is what I said but I didn't ... it wasn't what I kind of entirely meant.
You know, anyways it's fine. It was well-written. The person did a great job
with the article because a lot of people ... because the reality is a lot of people
look to lent for like as if it as if it's like a New Year's resolution. This
is when I'm gonna really hit it hard is what I'm gonna start living clean this
is what I'm gonna start you know eating well I'm gonna start doing all these
things that are good habits. I'm gonna start or stop doing all these things
that are bad habits. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but
ultimately why do we do the three practices of Lent: prayer, fasting and
almsgiving? Particularly the fasting, why? It's ultimately not because we're trying
to start a good habit or trying to kill a bad habit, although that's a
good thing. I would say the primary reason why we do penance, fasting,
that kind of thing, during Lent or anytime is for repentance and to give
God access. So repentance. We all realize you know that there's there's things in
our lives like we were sinners. Right? And so we repent by giving stuff up. If
that's gonna be the bad habit or if that's gonna be the bad sin, great, yes,
that's that. But we repent, but we turn away from the evil that we
do, that we choose and we turn towards the Lord. That's repentance. So we fast,
we do the penance for that sense of like
repentance. Right? So turning back to the Lord. We also do it to give the Father
access to our hearts. Why do I choose the thing I choose to do for Lent? It could
be because I want to feel better about myself because I want to live a
healthier life. But ultimately what it comes down to is I'm choosing this
because I believe that it'll it will give the father access to my heart. Yeah
there's also other things I made a video about it, like we do it to unite our
sufferings to sufferings of Jesus, and that's very important. But it's not about
repentance, turning away from sin and turning towards God, if it's not about
giving the Father access to our hearts then ultimately what it's about is about
ourselves, and our penance gets to be so ... gets to be about so much than
just ourselves. It gets to be about so much more than just I started a good
habit or I stopped a bad habit. I lost a few pounds or you know I got extra
sleep or whatever the thing is. It gets to be about him. You know I was thinking
about this particularly when it comes to fasting as it relates to repentance.
When I was reading The Book of Jonah, here's Jonah who goes through Nineveh
after his whole story with a great fish and everything he goes through Nineveh
and he says, "forty days more and Nineveh will be destroyed." And the word gets to
the king of Nineveh, and the ruler of Nineveh then proclaims a fast. He
commands that everybody from the oldest the youngest, from the wealthiest to the
poorest, even the animals that they would be dressed in sackcloth and ashes and
not eat or drink anything. And it was really remarkable because I just think
about this, like, we read the story. We know the end we know that the Lord did
not carry out the justice he was going to inflict upon Nineveh, but the people
of Nineveh didn't know that. Like they didn't know when they started fasting,
when they started doing the penance, when they dressed in sackcloth and ashes, and
didn't eat or drink; they didn't know that the Lord God would a.) notice, b.) care
and c.) respond. But we know. This is the declaration of faith that
happens every single time you and I do an act of penance. We believe that God,
who is our Father who loves us, notices. The most amazing thing to being a
Catholic Christian is to realize that you matter
to God, that you don't have to do anything huge for him to notice. In fact,
your penance probably is something really really small. I mean it's probably
not like the amazing fasts of some of the great saints. It's probably
something very very insignificant in the big picture of things, but you believe
something about God. You believe that he cares about you so he notices.
And then, as I said, after he notices he cares and he responds. Now, it's not like
we moved to God to respond because God is ... he's always the initiator, we're
always the responders, right? He's always the one who moves and then we respond to
his movement. But there's something powerful about, "OK, Lord. I have changed
this at your at your ... by your request and by your grace, I've moved by this penance,
by this act of giving up something, by this act of fasting, I've moved.
You've noticed it, you care, and now you respond. There's something, there's a
massive act of faith and that act of faith is that you have a father and you
matter to him. It reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies, it's
relatively violent: Braveheart. Here's William Wallace and he's fighting
for Scotland and all this stuff, and his buddy, he says, "Why are you doing
this?" and he says, "I'm doing this for freedom." And his buddy says, "No
you're not. You're doing this for Murran!" His wife who had been murdered. "You're doing this
for Murran. You're doing this because you think she sees you."
William Wallace responds and he says, "No, I know she sees me." And this moment
is so incredibly important because, why are you doing the fast? Why are you
doing the penance thing you're doing? Well, it's because I want to lose weight,
it's because I want to do this, because I ... No. You're doing it because you think
the Father sees you, because you think, you're convinced, you
believe, no. You know the Father notices, that he cares and that he
responds. Ultimately our penance is about repentance while giving the Father
access to our hearts. From all of us here at Ascension Presents, my name is Father
Mike. God bless. Also, be sure to like, subscribe, comment on stuff.
Comment on my Scottish accent if you want. If you want to comment, comment
my Scottish accent. It's alright. It's OK. it's alright. It's not very good but
it's mine, so there. OK. Peace out.
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What's the Point of Fasting During Lent?

17 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on February 26, 2020
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