Monday, September 24, 2007

Perfesser Creekwater on Fasting


Folks,

In a few days I will begin participating in 40 Days for Life, a nationwide, all-denominational and no-denominational campaign to end human cooperation in abortion through fasting, prayer, and community witness & outreach.

Of that more, tomorrow.

In one of those coincidences that are not really coincidences at all, but the workings of Serendipity - one of my favorite angels - my brother Mark "Perfesser Creekwater" D'Orazio sends me a timely essay on fasting from Austin, Texas, where he is visiting with our sister Sue Marie.

I thought I would print it. Mark does not call himself a Catholic or a Christian, but the Benedictine spirit he and I learned at Our Lady of Fatima school in New Castle, Delaware, lives on, hanging out and communing with that indelible mark of Baptism he received so long ago.

TITLE: "BACK TO BASICs: FAST-ING"
DEAR FOLKs: I STARTED AS A CATHOLIC: WHEN I WAS VERY-YOUNG, I ATTENDED A CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL: MY TEACHERs WERE CATHOLIC NUNs, MEMBERs OF A GROUP WHICH "SAINT BENEDICT" STARTED, APPROX. 1500-YEARs AGO: TH OLD-EST GROUP-OF-CATHOLIC-NUNs ON PLANET-EARTH, AND NATURAL-LY VERY CONSERVATIVE IN MANY WAYs ...
DURING TH TIME WHEN I ATTENDED CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL, APPROX. 50-YEARs AGO, MY TEACHERs (CATHOLIC NUNs) TAUGHT ME RE FAST-ING: THEY SAY'D THAT WE SHOULD FAST AT-LEAST 3-HOURs EVERY SUNDAY-MORNING, BEFORE RECEIVE-ING "HOLY COMMUNION" @ TH CATHOLIC CHURCH-WORSHIP SERVICE, WHICH THEY EXPECTED THAT WE WOULD ATTEND: THIS 3-HOUR FAST-EXPECTATION (OR "REQUIREMENT") WAS ACTUAL-LY SHORT-ER-THAN IT WAS FOR MY FATHER, WHEN HE WAS A CHILD: HE SAY'D THAT (AT THAT TIME) THEY EXPECTED (OR "REQUIRED") FOLKs TO FAST FROM MID-NIGHT UNTIL TH TIME WHEN THEY RECEIVED HOLY COMMUNION: EVIDENT-LY, CATHOLIC CHURCH-ADMINISTRATORs ---BETWEEN MY FATHER's CHILDHOOD + MY OWN--- OFFICIAL-LY SHORTEN'D TH FAST-TIME ... PLUS, SINCE I WAS A CHILD, THEY (EVIDENT-LY) DID-SO AGAIN: MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT, PRESENT-LY, IT's ONLY 1-HOUR LONG ...
PLUS, THERE WERE OTHER TIMEs WHEN MY TEACHERs EXPECTED US, + ALL GOOD CATHOLICs, TO FAST: SUCH AS, EVERY FRIDAY, + DURING TH ANNUAL "SEASON-OF-LENT": MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT TH EXPECTATION ("REQUIREMENT") FOR FAST-ING DURING THESE TIMEs IS PRESENT-LY LESS-STRICT THAN IT WAS DURING FORMER TIMEs ...
TO SUMMARIZE: DURING TH PAST SEVERAL GENERATIONs, CATHOLIC CHURCH-ADMINISTRATORs HAVE GRADUAL-LY DE-EMPHASIZED THEIR FOCUS-ON-FAST-ING --- FOR WHAT-EVER REASONs ...
### ### ### ### ###
RECENT-LY MY SISTER + I DID A LITTLE 3-DAY FAST, VOLUNTARY-LY, JUST-SIMPLY FOR HEALTH + WELL-BEING: BOTH OF US LOVE TO EAT, + TEND TO EAT-TOO-MUCH: NOT GOOD !! FOR US, EAT-ING FOOD IS (LIKE) ONE OF OUR TREASURED PLEASUREs, ALSO NOT GOOD: BECAUSE EAT-ING FOOD SHOULD-BE A MEANs TO ACHIEVE A GOAL (GOOD HEALTH, PHYSICAL/MENTAL/SPIRITUAL/EMOTIONAL/ETC), NOT A GOAL IN IT-SELF: AS TH OLD SAY-ING SAYs:
" EAT TO LIVE; DO-NOT LIVE TO EAT "
... GOOD ADVICE !!
FOR THESE REASONs, MY SIS + I STARTED OUR LITTLE 3-DAY FAST: NOT A REAL FAST, AS WE WERE DRINK-ING FRUIT-JUICE + EAT-ING FRUIT: PLUS, I ACTUAL-LY DRINK'D SOME HOT-COFFEE + COLD-SODAs, WHICH IS (LIKE) NOT-EXPECTED-TO-HAPPEN DURING A "REAL" FAST ... IN FACT, OUR LITTLE FAST WAS SO NOT-STRICT, WE JOKE-ING-LY CALL'D IT A "HAF-FAST" ---(SIMILAR-TO A "HALF-FAST")--- WHERE THE "HAF" MEANs "HALF-ASS'D FAST" ...
THEN, SUDDEN-LY, DURING TH LAST-DAY OF OUR 3-DAY FAST, MY SIS HAPPEN'D TO MENTION THAT WE WERE IN TH MONTH OF "RAMADAN" ---WHICH I HAD-NOT NOTICED: [RAMADAN IS TH MONTH WHEN MUSLIMs FAST] ... REALIZE-ING THIS, I DECIDED THEN+THERE TO CONTINUE FAST-ING, RAMADAN-STYLE, UNTIL TH END OF RAMADAN, STILL MORE-THAN 2-WEEKs AWAY --- IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR MUSLIM-FRIENDs WORLD-WIDE ...
MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT, DURING RAMADAN, FOLKs FAST DURING DAY-TIME, ALLOW-ING THEM-SELVES TO EAT @ NIGHT ... THIS SEEMs TO ME EASY + DO-ABLE: (LIKE) MY KIND OF FAST: EVERY DAY I CAN ENJOY TH SELF-CONTROL + DISCIPLINE OF DENY-ING MY-SELF FOOD APPROX. 12-HOURs, AND EVERY NIGHT I CAN ENJOY TH PLEASURE OF EAT-ING FOOD ... SO I'M GONNA TRY-TO DO A SEVERAL-WEEK FAST, TH 1ST TIME SINCE I WAS A LITTLE CATHOLIC CHILD, FAST-ING DURING TH "SEASON-OF-LENT" .....
SINCERE-LY, MARK "PEACE-WALKER" CREEK-WATER
TEXAS [NEAR AUSTIN] - USA - TODAY
MARK "PEACE-WALKER" CREEK-WATER IS TH ELDER-BROTHER OF FEAR-LESS + PASSIONATE BLOGGER RAE STABOSZ, WHO IS A DEVOUT CATHOLIC ... CREEK-WATER, THO HE DOES-NOT CONSIDER HIM-SELF A CATHOLIC, (OR EVEN A "CHRISTIAN"), FEELs THAT HE IS A GOOD-GUY, AND "CHRISTIAN" IN TH SENSE THAT THIS WORD "CHRISTIAN" IS AN ADJECTIVE, AS-WELL-AS A NOUN, AND DESCRIBEs HOW-WE-BEHAVE, NOT WHAT-WE-ARE ....
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