US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The Spirituality of Fasting - Discussion questions

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Spirituality of fastingDiscussion Starter Questions:

The Spirituality of Fasting: Rediscovering a Christian Practice is an excellent resource for Lenten group study. The book provides a wonderful balance of Catholic teaching and prayer, research and reflection to support your Lenten observance. Weekly meetings are recommended, with a single chapter as the focus of each meeting. There are six chapters in all, which corresponds to the duration of Lent. As you begin this study, invite all participants to identify how they will fast during the Lenten season, and to jot down their thoughts and reflections on the experience.

Each chapter ends with a series of questions for further reflection, many of which are ideal for group conversation. At the beginning of each meeting, read a selection from the scriptures cited in the corresponding chapter. Following the scripture reading and silent reflection, invite any members who would like to share their fasting reflections to do so. Then, discuss the questions at the end of the chapter, focusing on one or two that particularly speak to the group. Following your discussion, end the meeting with prayers of gratitude and intercession from group participants.

Here are a few discussion questions provided in The Spirituality of Fasting:

1. How can I make sure that my religious beliefs are more than an intellectual exercise but are reflected and actualized in the way I live every day?

2. Jesus specifically forbids grimness when we fast. He wants us to appear light-hearted even as we deny ourselves. When I deny myself something, what is my attitude?

3. Most of us have some experience of being part of a group, such as a team, in which everyone has acted together. Is my experience of the pillars of Christianity-prayer, fasting, and charity-similar to this, or different?