Thursday, January 24, 2008

David Pollack to return to Bengals?

An article in today's Enquirer examines the possibility of David Pollack returning to play for the Bengals next season. After a fractured spine, that's impressive enough. But was most remarkable was this comment from Pollack himself:
“I will want to take some time, though, to fast and pray and spend time by myself a lot and try to figure out where God is leading me,” he said. “If it closes one chapter, it opens another.”

And it's not even Lent! We rarely hear of people incorporating fasting into their prayer life these days (at least publicly), but I think he's setting a great example. Who would have thought - act like a Bengal to draw closer to God? (Just kidding!)

Paragraph 1434 of the Catechism tells us that
"The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others.

Most of us pray and give some amount to charity, but do we fast? There's something about a physical hunger to make us more deeply understand our need for God.
Maybe a good place to start would be to abstain from meat on Fridays. While this is required of us during Lent, it is actually encouraged by the Church year-round.

Paragraph 1438 of the Catechism says:
The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church's penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works). [Emphasis added]

Abstinence is not expressly required on Fridays, but only because the Church has left it to our discretion how we will make that penance. If we are not fasting or abstaining, we should be doing some other form of penance in remembrance of our Lord's suffering. Start today?

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