Syria Saturday. Pope Francis has asked all Catholics and all Christians and other people of good will to dedicate Saturday (Sept 7, 2013) as a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria. The Holy Father did not give specific instructions for how to pray and fast on Syria Saturday, but left it up to each person’s conscience.
Here are some ideas. I’m classifying them as Hard, Medium, Easy:
Hard: The good old “Black Fast”
This is the traditional Lenten fast of our Catholic forebears. It goes like this:
- No more than one meal per day
- Flesh meat, eggs, butter, cheese and milk (all animal products) were forbidden
- The meal was not allowed until after sunset (moved up to 3pm by about the 13th century)
- Alcohol was forbidden
- During Holy Week, the meal consisted exclusively of bread, salt, herbs, and water
Medium: Current Lenten Fast
This is the contemporary rule for fasting in the Catholic Church
- One full meal with two small meals. The two small meals should not add up to one full meal. So basically one meal and two snacks.
- No flesh meat (beef, pork, chicken…squirrel, etc). I add squirrel because people are watching Duck Dynasty and getting ideas!
Easy: No Meat or Drop a Meal
You could treat it as a Friday and not eat meat. Or you could drop a meal.
Syria Saturday: Prayer is Most Important
If you read his statement, you know that Pope Francis stressed prayer more than fasting. There is no point in starving yourself, but not praying. If you pray the Rosary every day (you do, don’t you?), then add a second Rosary. Or maybe add the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Or maybe an extra 10 minutes of mental prayer. Include your family and friends for a group Rosary.
Remember, Syria is the powder keg. Syria is allied with Russia and China. Not good. Our Lady of Fatima pray for us!
Question: Please share your ‘Syria Saturday’ ideas. Also, do you think it is significant that the Pope is calling for a day of penance? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
And remember, Jesus made Peter the Pope while in Syria! Read more about this in my new book The Eternal City: