No Pain, No Gain

bf-bcat-57 second law“What are you doing to me!” my son yelled at the crucifix in his room.

“I don’t think complaining about not eating between meals on a fast day to One who is nailed to a cross is a good tactic,” I replied.

Yes, this conversation was about Ash Wednesday and the fast. I’d just reminded Joe, age 21, about the requirement. Gosh, what would he have said had it been the good old days of fasting every day of Lent?

“I can’t even eat candy? That’s not food. That’s what I do on my route to keep going. I eat candy in between my stops. I don’t get a lunch break. I don’t eat all day, I don’t eat before I go to work!”

It hadn’t made a difference last year, he’d been working a cushy retail job, but now it was a high pressure Fed Ex delivery job, no breaks, just run in, run out.

Jesus fasted.

“He was God! But He was man, He had to eat something.”

“I don’t know, I wasn’t there.”

“I can’t do it,” he repeated.

“So ask for a dispensation when you go to confession. But they didn’t give one to your sister for being mentally handicapped or for her having diabetes.”

That was true. I’d asked about it, but the priest said to have her try to fast and if it didn’t work, to give up something instead. I thought it was odd she didn’t merit a pass, but after all, he was her confessor and apparently thought it doable.

“I can’t do it,” Joe said. “I won’t do it.”

Fast forward. 9pm. My daughter gave up the Wii and she also fasted. And so did Joe, judging by his grumpy self when he came in the door. I don’t know how hard the struggle was, but I know no pain, no gain, and grace came his way because of it.

IHS lamb of God

This article, No Pain, No Gain is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

Cindy Paslawski

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