"However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." (Matt 17:21)
“This kind can come out by nothing butprayer and fasting." (Mark 9:29)
This is our recommendation of how to structure your fasting
It is based on our three years of experience and it is solely our own suggestion. We have realized that the way of fasting is different from person to person and your previous experience. Our Step-by-Step Rosary structure starts from the believed point that many people do not know of how to pray the Rosary, and we include the idea into our fasting.
So many people have contacted us in the matter asking questions if they can do so and so, of how we do it.
Venerable fasts were removed by the Vatican II and most of us are in the hands of the secular consumption and materialism with christmas parties, office parties, loads of presents, and food.
There are some key-points:
1) How strict do your fasting to be?
For us, this is a long-term committment, so if you fail, get back in the saddle and continue.
It may be difficult one year and improved another year. Long-term learning and developing your new tradition takes time.
We rather see that you commence with some easy goals, than failing within a week.
It is also possible to tighten the fasting in due time during the fasting.
2) Do I eat?
It is of great importance that you feel well all through. We are not doctors, and you may want to consult your doctor before you start.
In our opinion, you have to eat. You have to remember that you set your own goals concerning the fasting and if you feel ill due to the fasting, you have to change it - this is to improve your life, and your prayer life.
See it this way and see point "Kick the Sugar-devil":
It is way better to eat a thick vegetable soup than having three fast-food burgers. If you are hungry, right now, in this moment, do you really have to eat or can you wait?
Olives is a good option to munch on.
We do or try to do the entire 40-days, the full seven days a week fasting, but, there are people who eat but then try to avoid all the unhealthy food or snacks. If you cannot do all seven days, or if you find it difficult, so why not focus on:
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays ought then to be days of abstinence without fasting.
Find your own minimum and certain goals. If you can keep a stricter time discipline, excellent. If not, try to keep the days as days of abstinence or all days as the bullet-points above days of fasting.
Find your disciplines, which include your prayer-life.
3) This is not a diet - so you have to pray while fasting.
How is your prayer life?
How often do you go to Church?
We are supposed to pray the Rosary daily but do you do it once a week which is better than once a month or once a year or never.
The Commander Cross Rosary and its Step-by-Step Rosary community offers one way to learn to pray the Rosary.
Do you want to structure or build your your prayer life?
It takes time but let it take time because building routines need time.
Why not try to use the natural opportunities of exercising while fasting.
- walk your dog for an hour.
- walk the golf course.
- walk up the stairs instead of the lift.
- if you can ride your bicycle to work rather than using the car, or get off a bus stop before and walk home, or walk a few subway stations etc.
Kick the Sugar-devil
Our experience is that it may take a good 10-14 days to kick the sugar craving in your body. And, for us, we always include "kick the sugar-devil" as part of our fasting procedure.
We have learnt during our fastings, that it may be difficult to even manage going through a super-market with all the "good stuff" around. We have experienced that one of the things on your mind, during a few days is "where can I buy something sweet".
And, at some point, you realize that you are focusing on other things than just the sugar-need.
This is NOT a sugar detox, it is NOT a diet
and one of the key words are moderation vs. excessive.
Moderation vs. Excessive
Part of our fasting is to fight some of the deadly sins by using some of counter-virtues and moderation is a virtue and our experience is that it is a good one to use as a focus while fasting. It is not only good related, and you may be in great shape, doing all kinds of activities and exercises.
Therefore, the moderation vs excessive is a good point to look at as part of your fasting structure. You may have other vices or habits you want to sacrifice while fasting.
Excessive shopping - do you really need to buy that "thing"?
Excessive eating - 1 plate instead of 2.
Do you really need a dessert after you had a starter and a main course?
Excessive drinking - a glass of wine is fine, rather than a bottle of wine. Wine to your meal, seven days a week - why not have it only to your Sunday meal?
Excessive working - can be difficult because you have a manager or job that demands the hours, or you need to be at your job during certain hours.
But - do you need to work the extra hours once you have come home?
Excessive gambling ...
Of course you understand the point. Moderation may be the most challenging virtue but it is a wonderful virtue once you have pin-pointed some of the obstacles against your fasting.
One of our key points in this matter is that we hope that the exercise is a long-term development of your Christian life. So, if you fail something, just get back on track. Remember that it takes time to kick old habits and you want to make a sacrifice, an offer, to remove something that is "exessive" in your life.
If you do it as a family, each family member may have their own obstacles or vices such as the classic issues with smoking, drinking, eating, shopping, gambling, TV, gaming, online viewing or porn but it may also be emotions such as anger, or attitudes like laziness.
Do you really need to waste the money - just because you can?
Imagine (a real case) when you are heading to a store to buy a package of vacuum cleaning bags, but you grab the choclate bar on your way to the cashier.
While munching on the chochlate bar walking out to the car, with the vacuum cleaning bags, the person then throws away the bar - as it was a sugar product - so you wasted your money, and you were weak againt the temptation - but you ditched it at least.
Waste of money. Waste of self-control and a weak mind.
What to avoid
(there are people who do no meat during Lent on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).
This include sandwich-related meat too.
This is good for kids regardless and good for parents. It is a time thief.
Seven Deadly Sins vs. Seven Virtues
We have mentioned earlier the virtue Moderation as one of the key-points during the fast. Its counter-part is Excessive, which is within field "Gluttony". Sloth showed up in 2022 and this time, it was pin-pointed to us.
Here below are some points, based on our experiences. Please do add more to your own list. It is exiting.
The below section will in due time be developed:
Seven Deadly Sins vs. Seven Virtues
We probably did not believe that the 40-day St. Martin fast would lead us to the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues. This was a great discovery, a revelation, and a great experience. We have received some questions this year and through our answers, and the following up questions - it even became more clear than before.
Sloth showed up in 2022 (more than in 2021) but it was pin-pointed in 2022. has shown us that often when we have certain issues during the 40-day St. Martin fast it is connected to the seven deadly sins. The antidotes are of course the seven virtues. But, here below are some of our experiences of deadly sins and virtues.
We will develop this section further covering:
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