(Because no one knows how to fast like a Traditional Catholic)
Catholic Candle note: The holy time of Lent is upon us, which is a great occasion to reflect upon fasting (and the reason for feasting at the great feast of Easter). The article below concerns feasting but does not imply eating in excessive quantities.
It might seem paradoxical, but in our age of laxity and over-indulgence, people don’t know how to feast properly.
Here are two elements that greatly enhance feasting:
1. The best feasting is preceded by generous and strict fasting; and
2. The best feasting has a great and celebratory motive.
Below, we discuss both of these elements which help us to feast well.
1. The best feasting is preceded by generous and strict fasting.
Webster’s Dictionary defines a “feast” this way:
❖ an elaborate and usually abundant meal often accompanied by a ceremony or entertainment; banquet
❖ something that gives unusual or abundant enjoyment
When a person satisfies his passions and his craves whenever he wants to, every day, then every day is largely the same. To feast properly, we should fast properly! Notice that Webster’s definition says that a proper feast should be “elaborate and unusually abundant”. When a person eats with a usual great abundance, he is not feasting.
For the best feasting, there should be a strong contrast between the fasting just finished and the feasting now begun. The greater the contrast, the better! Such preceding fasting makes the subsequent feast more elaborate and more abundant by contrast.
Like other false religions, the conciliar church has virtually no fasting. By contrast, Traditional Catholics are faithful to Holy Mother Church’s wholesome traditional commands to fast. Because of this, Traditional Catholics also know well how to feast.
Easter is the greatest feast of the year. It is fittingly preceded by the greatest fasting of the year (six-and-one-half weeks). The high feast of Christmas is preceded by its (fasting) vigil and its penitential season of Advent. Other great feasts have their (fasting) vigils.
Let us be generous! The more generous we are in our fasting, the higher will be our feasting! The conciliar church and other false religions can’t feast well because they don’t fast well.
2. The best feasting has a great and celebratory motive.
Our motive for feasting should not be because we are inclined to indulge our passions and our craves. That is not a wholesome reason to feast. That is merely self-indulgence, resulting in the strengthening of our passions and the weakening of our will.
Notice that Webster’s Dictionary defines feasting as being “often accompanied by a ceremony”. In other words, feasting is best accompanied by important “ceremonies” – which show important reasons to feast.
A Catholic, whose heart if full of love and joy for his Risen Lord, can fully immerse himself in the Easter feasting, rejoicing in that sublime day with its great liturgical prayers, ceremonies and meaning.
But any person who is focused only on himself, and whose god is his belly, “celebrates” nothing except himself – and he already “celebrates himself” every day of the year. So, every day is empty of special meaning. There is no day with a fresh and high motive for celebrating and feasting.
The austere St. Francis of Assisi knew the worthiness of celebrating a high feast. Here is one account, giving us insight into St. Francis’s thoughts about feasting:
When a friar once asked him [viz., St. Francis of Assisi] if you could eat meat when Christmas coincided with Friday, the traditional day of abstinence, St. Francis replied: "I would like that on Christmas even the walls could eat meat.”
Like St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Chrysostom knew the great fittingness of celebrating a high feast. Read St. John Chrysostom’s sermon (below) showing his contagious joy when celebrating the magnificent Easter feast:
Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church
If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.
If any man be a wise servant, let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord.
If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.
If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.
If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings, because he shall in no wise be deprived.
If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.
If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him also be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; He gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has worked from the first hour.
And He shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts.
And He both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering.
Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord, and receive your reward, both the first and likewise the second.
You rich and poor together, hold high festival.
You sober and you heedless, honor the day.
Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast.
The table is fully laden; feast sumptuously!
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
Enjoy the feast of faith; receive all the riches of loving-kindness.
Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shone forth from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free: He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.
By descending into hell, He made hell captive.
He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh.
And Isaiah, foretelling this, cried: “Hell was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions.”
It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.
It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.
O Death, where is your sting?
O Hell, where is your victory?
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life reigns.
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.
For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.
In this sermon, St. John Chrysostom shows us the attitude we should have: feasting with joy when we have high motives to celebrate. Truly, this is feasting worthy of the name! What a contrast this is to the unworthy, joyless “feasting” which is merely a “celebrating” of the fact that we are indulging ourselves!
Let us Traditional Catholics fast well and then feast well. Let us enter with all of our hearts and with complete generosity into our fasting, thereby forming a worthy contrast to our joyful celebrating of the great feast to come!
 Quoted from Webster’s Dictionary, found here: Note: In this article, by the word “feasting”, we do not imply over-eating.
 St. Paul describes worldlings, unwilling to fast, in these words: “[T]hey are enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction; whose god is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things.” Philippians, 3:18-19.
 We recommend using this sermon as part of sanctifying the up-coming great feast of Easter.