Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why do Catholics fast in public against the Bible?

A reader of this blog left us a comment a little while ago:

“I thin lent is against what the bible says. Because the bible tells us to fast
in secret. If you tell everyone you are fasting you defeat the purpose and
receive your reward on earth already. It doesn't make you holy because you
should be giving up things every day of your life. Like your sinful passions,
doubt, and unblief.”
The reader then references Matthew 6:16 where Jesus tells us to fast and pray in secret.

First of all, I want to thank all of our readers who take the time to comment on our posts here. We appreciate all feedback, even those disagreeing with Catholic practices. These questions are exactly why we started this blog; to answer them.

I would like to ask; have you ever prayed in front of another person? Do you pray at church? If you do then you are violating Jesus command! He clearly says in Mt 6:16 to pray in your home behind locked doors. I think it’s fair to ask why can’t Catholics fast in public if you can pray in public. Isn’t this a bit hypocritical?

In any event, in Mt 6:16 Jesus condemns prideful motives behind fasting and prayer. This is the message. Do you pray and fast so people will be impressed at how “holy” you are? If you do then you are only praying and fasting for your own pride; and your pride has been rewarded by their praise, but God is not impressed.

Jesus hardly condemns public prayer and fasting if they’re done for the right reasons. Neither did the apostles in Acts. Neither did the early Church. Praying and fasting in public is a central part of Christianity.

So you keep praying publicly and I’ll keep fasting publicly and let’s pray for each other that our motives are humility and sincerity instead of pride.

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