As Catholics, we engage in the practicing of fasting and abstinence, most often associated with refraining from eating food at particular times. (For example, we practice fasting from food on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, when we have much smaller meals, and we abstain from meat on all Lenten Fridays.)
The intent of this practice is to help us to draw closer to Christ by creating a space for him and by recognizing that only God can truly satisfy our spiritual hunger. But fasting doesn't have to be limited just to food! We can practice fasting from other things and experiences as well, especially those that get in the way of our connecting with Christ.
Each Friday this Lent, we'll be encouraging you to fast from something and to see what happens in your relationships with God, yourself and others.
This Friday, we're inviting you to fast from criticism, either from criticizing yourself or criticizing others.
Instead, if there is something you recognize about yourself that you would like to change, then ask God two things: first, to remind you that you are already beloved in God's eyes, and second, to help you with making that change in your life. If you find that you are tempted to criticize someone else, first take a moment to pray for God's grace, and then interact with that person as you believe Jesus would.