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Friday, 17 July 2015

"Fasting, sexual continence and silence are all much easier than real prayer but they are necessary adjuncts to prayer."

A disturbing, but fascinating post from Fr Ray Blake.
A couple of years ago a rather distraught Italian lady came to see me, she was upset, she didn't come to Mass here or anywhere else in England, [really, Senora? you think your own devotion may be somewhat reflected in how warmly your sons' embrace their Catholic Faith?] though, "I go the time in Napoli", "... but I sent my boys to Catholic school, they went to Mass and Confession there, now they have both becoming Muslims and they are telling me I should become Muslim and Maria my daughter should become a Muslim and cover her hair!"....
The Italian lady told me about how her boys became Muslims. They had been teasing a Muslim friend about his Ramadam fasting, so he challenged them to fast with him, they did and after a few days they had started breaking the daily fast with a group Muslim men and discussing the Koran with them, and a little later they were praying with them and going to the mosque with them.
The mother was convinced it was the fasting that did it!
One of our great post-Concilliar lacks, is fasting and abstinence. One of the things we in England and Wales should be grateful to Bishop Kieran Conry for, was his pressing the restoration Friday abstinence amongst their Lordships. Amongst the teaching of the Fathers prayer is always accompanied by fasting and abstinence. A friend staying here for a few days respite from Greece, told me of Greek monks sermon which contained the memorable line, 'For a life of prayer, three things are necessary, control of the tongue, control of the genitals, control of the stomach'.
How hard it must be to learn to value that which requires no, forget sacrifice, requires no effort!

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