Fr. Pierre Descouvemont: How Lenten Fasting Helps Us Become More Generous With Others

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By Father Pierre Descouvemont, Aleteia, Feb. 24, 2021

Going without can teach us how to better love one another.

While fasting imposed in Judaism is mostly an ascetic discipline destined to mortify the body, Christians quickly attributed it a different significance. It has essentially been transformed into an act of repentance, conversion, and charity — moderating one’s own eating habits to feed the hungry. It is something we continue to do today as throughout Lent people give to the needy.

There have always been those who wonder whether this demonstration of brotherly generosity is not more important than fasting recommended by the Church during Lent. After all, isn’t it what the Lord commands us to do? “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:15) …

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