MANILA, Feb. 23, 2015—A member of the local Church hierarchy has warned the faithful of treating the Lenten fast as an end in itself, stressing the practice becomes meaningful only when it is followed up by works of charity, like helping the poor and supporting the Church’s programs and projects.
More than an exercise in self-mastery, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo pointed out fasting invites Catholics to reflect and examine their consciences, as well as to take it as an opportunity to serve people most in need.
Fasting is sharing
In an interview over Radyo Veritas, the prelate, who also chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), explained that while the Church requires all able-bodied Catholics to fast on Ash Wednesdays and Good Fridays, they are also encouraged to do it, if possible, on Holy Saturdays and all Fridays of Lent.
According to him, fasting does not only involve denying oneself of or abstaining from pleasurable activities one normally indulges in, like eating sweets and junk foods and drinking sodas, but also consists in setting aside an amount for charity like the Church’s Alay Kapwa and Hapag-asa of Pondo ng Pinoy (PnP).
Pabillo said fasting is not measured by how much one has sacrificed but by how well and how far one has gone to reach out to one’s neighbors.
Year of the Poor
The prelate added this Lenten season is all the more significant given that it coincides with the observance of the “Year of the Poor,” which reminds all the faithful of their Christian mission in helping the underprivileged.
To donate, visit http://hapagasafeeding.com/donate, or contact (+632) 632-10-01 to 03. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)