As someone once told me; “Fasting without prayer is just going hungry.” How true! Many Muslims pray fives times a day, and especially during Ramadan. Prayer feeds the soul and helps sustain the meaning behind the fast. Several years ago, I was walking through the Minneapolis airport and saw a young airport worker go into a corner and pull out a small rug to pray. He wasn’t trying to draw attention to himself, but he caught my eye anyway. I was moved by his act of devotion, discipline and love. I then asked myself, “Why don’t I do that?”“Is my faith enough of a priority that I go out of my way to pray to make room for it?” Inspired by the young Muslim man’s public display of faith and prayer, I began to pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy at 3 p.m everyday, regardless of where I was. Now I also include my morning prayers, Rosary and evening prayers each day. The young man’s powerful example has inspired and challenged me to deepen my own faith and be a better Catholic. It is through sharing experiences and practices that we discover we have more in common than we have differences. One of the many values that we have in common is a shared sense of respect for workers and the value of the work they produce. Across faith traditions, the teachings are clear: respect workers and treat them fairly, as we would want to be treated, or even better. Kind of sounds like a golden rule doesn’t it? For good reason, as we all do better when we all do better. So as I begin Ramadan in honor of the values that it represents, I am filled with humility and gratitude for this blessed opportunity to deepen my relationship with God and those around me. It will give me chance to turn down the noise and focus on what’s most important in my life and once again, help me to be a better Catholic.
Why is a Catholic fasting during Ramadan?
Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 06/19/15
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