One Minute Reflection – 3 September – ‘… The absolute demand of the precept….’

One Minute Reflection – 3 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Colossians 1: 15-20; Psalm 100: 1b-2-5; Luke 5: 33-39

Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?” – Luke 5:34

REFLECTION – “We had left Syria for the Province of Egypt, anxious to learn there, the teachings of the old Monks and were astonished by the great warmth with which we were received.

Contrary to what we had been taught in the Monasteries of Palestine, they did not observe the Rule of waiting for the hour appointed for the meal but, except on Wednesday and Fridays, wherever we went, the fast was broken. One of the elders, from whom we asked why the daily fasts were so easily set aside among them, replied: “My fast is always with me but you, whom I shall shortly be refreshing, I cannot keep with me unceasingly. So the fast, although useful and necessary, is nevertheless the voluntary offering of a gift, whereas the fulfilment of a work of charity, is the absolute demand of the precept. That is why, receiving Christ in you, it is He whom I sustain and, having given you refreshment, I shall be able, by a stricter fast, to pay back in myself, the humanity that I have shown you for Christ’s sake. In fact “the friends of the bridegroom cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them,” but when he has departed, then they can do so.” – St John Cassian (c 360- c 435) Monk, Founder of Monasteries – Institutes

PRAYER – God our Father, Your rule is a rule of love, Your providence is full of mercy for Your people. Through the intercession of Your |Angels and Saints and the Most Sorrowful Mother of Your Son, that we may be granted the spirit of wisdom and understanding in Your Word. Grant that by the light of the Your Word made flesh, we may know our eternal home and strive to attain eternal joy there with You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.