But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.(Mt 6.18)
DAYS OF PENANCE
Days of Abstinence from meat and Fasting
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the only two days of the year in which every Christian is obliged to abstinence and fasting
What is meant by fasting ?
For the Church to fast means taking the usual three meals a day (one normal , the other two a little ' reduced ) and don't take anything between meals ( water and medicines do not break the fast )
What is meant by abstinence from meat ?
Eating low-fat (fish , eggs, cheese ... ) Once the meat was a delicacy ( ie , a luxury ) , not today. You could abstain from meat and then gorging on delicacies , but also a child would understand that it would not do penance
Who is responsible for these standards of penance ?
Fasting : everyone from 18 years of age up to 65
Abstinence : all , after you have done the Communion ( no age limit )
NOTES on fasting and abstinence:
Of course, who does heavy work is exempt -
Sick people should follow the advice of their doctor -
When in doubt, ask a priest
We do penance for the wrongs we have done ( that is, the evil , selfishness and unjust satisfactions that we procured ... )
But not only the evil done by us , but also for that done by others .
With our penance we join with the suffering of Jesus ( in his passion and death on the Cross ) .
He atoned for all of us : it is right that we do something with ... Him .