We all live in a world that has been contaminated by Original Sin, the archetypal sin of Adam and Eve that defines the condition in which we live. Our theology tells us that we are all born with Original Sin which keeps us from participating in the bounty that Jesus restored to us by his death on the cross and resurrection. Baptism, an act of faith of God in us with our response, wash away this Original Sin, but there is a catch. The effects of the sin remain. We must die, there is behavior not consistent with who God is. We receive the Ten Commandments but struggle to keep them. With Christ, things become clearer. We now have a Mediator between us and God, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. True to the effects of Original Sin, we don’t all agree on what that is. There is confusion, conflicts, and positions that are contrary to the teachings of the Master. One thing about religion, there always were conflicts, especially in the early church. Google the various heresies. In the midst of this confusion, I find myself wanting to focus just on having in me the mind of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 2:5). I have chosen the Cistercian approach to life (silence, solitude, prayer, work, and community) as a way for me to move from self to God. Along the way of my journey, there are great teachers that can help me struggle with living the Life of Christ. One such person is Pope Francis. Here is what he had to say about increasing love.
Pope Francis on Fasting and Prayer
Here are some penitential practices for all year long.
Pope Francis proposes these 15 simple acts of charity as concrete manifestations of love:
THE BEST FASTING:
If we all practice this style of fasting, our everyday will be filled with peace, joy, trust in each other, and life.
That in all things, may God be glorified. –St. Benedict