First Friday of Lent – 4 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Isaiah 58:1-9, Matthew 5:43-38,6:1-4
“One thing I ask the Lord;
this I seek:
to dwell in the house of the Lord.”
“Take heed not to do your good before men,
in order to be seen by them;
otherwise you shall have no reward
with your Father in Heaven.”
AND WHAT KIND OF CHRISTIAN is it who will not fast, at least until None (the mid-afternoon Breviary hour), during this season?
Recall how the Ninevites required even of children at the breast that they too should fast and their flocks and herds likewise, that all might be delivered from the danger that threatened them.
What kind of Christian is he who, although well and able refuses to fast with … the Lord?
They will say: We cannot both work and fast.
They cannot because they WILL NOT.
Then let them work less that they may fast more.
I warn you and I exhort you in the Lord, that none among you, unless a sick person or a child, eat or drink before the hour of Nones, except on Sundays.
I COUNSEL YOU ALSO, that he who is near the Church and can come, should hear Mass each day. And that he who can, should come each evening to the recitation of Vespers.
Let those who live far from the Church try to come to Vespers each Sunday at least …
LET HIM who has HATE in his heart, or anger, against another, put it wholly from himself, if he wishes to be saved. …
And you must understand, that whatever it is that you deny yourself through fasting must be given entirely to the poor, not kept back for yourselves!
MAY ALMIGHTY GOD grant, that you keep before you what I have told you and that you fulfil it … so that at the end of this life and at the close of your labours, you may enter into eternal rest.
May He grant you this, Who created you and sought at the price of His own Blood to redeem you,
Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen. – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church