This treasury of spiritual wisdom draws on sources ancient and current—from Augustine to Michael Pollan—to consider anew how fasting informs the relationships between creator/creature, body/soul, and rich/poor. In a timely response to Pope Benedict’s urging that the value and meaning of fasting need to be “rediscovered and encouraged again in our day,” The Spirituality of Fasting is excellent for small groups, parish retreats, homily preparation, and recommended Lenten reading lists.
Monsignor Charles M. Murphy is the director of the Permanent Diaconate for the Diocese of Portland, Maine. Previously he served his diocese as director of education and has pastored four different parishes. He was rector of the North American College in Rome and holds a doctorate from the Pontifical Gregorian University there. He is the author of several scholarly articles and books, including Belonging to God: A Personal Training Guide for the Deeper Catholic Spiritual Life.
“This reader-friendly text, sensitive to holistic emphases in contemporary spirituality, anchors in the Bible and the formative centuries of Christian life, a still valuable but now neglected practice. Msgr. Charles Murphy’s treatment of fasting makes a very positive contribution towards shoring up the three traditional pillars of Judaeo-Christian piety—prayer, fasting, works of charity—in harmonious relation to one another.”
Rev. Thomas Ryan, C.S.P., Author of Fasting Rediscovered. “This eloquent, historically enlightening, and practical guide to a Catholic and religious understanding of fasting motivates us to take a new look at an old virtue. Must reading for anyone serious about finding the only real food that can quench their hunger and thirst for God and for growing in compassion and greater charity.”
Walter E. Grazer, Author of Catholics Going Green. “The range and depth of this little book are impressive! Msgr. Charles Murphy presents a comprehensive history of fasting and offers a sound rationale for the need to revive this ancient practice. A must-read for any serious Christian and a wonderful resource for adult faith formation, small faith communities, or parish social justice committees.”
Susan Lang Abbott, Director of Religious Education, Archdiocese of Boston.
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