Think Fast Before Christmas

 


How many times have you heard "important" clergy and laity in the Church say things like...


    The New Evangelization!

    We need to accompany people...

    How can we stop accompanying people right out of the Church?

    How can we get more vocations to the priesthood?

    We need to make the Church more relevant...

    How come the youth aren't interested? We've made things so easy for them. Do they not realize we have GUITARS, for crying out loud!...


We all know that these "important" clergy and laity don't know what the heck they're talking about, nor how to actually fix this mess. But there is good news. 

Ahem.

The Church does know how to fix this mess. Really, She does. Take the vocations problem. What are we supposed to do about it?

Maybe we could start with Ember Days. As I write this, Advent Ember Days begins (Wed.), and also goes on Friday and Saturday. 

What do you do? You fast and pray, particularly for those to be ordained. A very noble and necessary cause.

What's that you say? Advent is for celebrating Christmas?

If you think so, you just might be part of the problem. Trust the Church on this one. Take up the penance of Ember Days. Even simply abstaining from meat on those days is a great start. 

I'll end with a brief snippet from my 1962 Missal:


At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. Their importance in the Church was formerly very great. They are fixed on the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: after the First Sunday of Lent for spring, after Pentecost Sunday for summer, after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14th September) for autumn, and after the Third Sunday of Advent for winter. They are intended, too, to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. Ordinations generally take place on the Ember Days. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good priests. The Ember Days were until c. 1960 fast-days of obligation.


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