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Kelly wrote:

Hi, guys —

Because it is the season of Lent, I am fasting.

  • I was wondering if I am allowed to snack on pretzels or saltine crackers during my fast?


  { During the season of Lent, am I allowed to snack on pretzels or saltine crackers when I'm fasting? }

Eric replied:

Hi Kelly,

Not without technically breaking your fast.

I would not do this on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday because on those days the fast is binding under pain of mortal sin, though, if needed, you do get two light collations to keep your strength up.

If you are fasting as a matter of your own devotion, you can do whatever you want. If you find you are just too weak to make it through the day, saltines are a good choice for a pick-me-up;
they are what I use.

On the other hand, one of the he main points of fasting is to learn self-denial, and if you crumble at the first sign of difficulty, you aren't going to learn it. I'd fight this temptation to snack while you are fasting hard until:

  • it's so bad you can't get your work done or
  • you get so weak you have trouble doing anything.

It helps to think:

  • of the starving people who have no choice
  • of the Christian martyrs who were deprived of food, and
  • all those people who didn't have the option of snacking as you do.

Step out of your fat and wealthy American existence for a moment and have the courage to taste, want, and hunger for this discipline. Do it in solidarity with the poor.

Eric Ewanco

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Kelly —

You are allowed to do what you want on any day but Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

You can fast however your wish, including snacking on pretzels, etc.

Mary Ann

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