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Yesterday was a time to reflect on the relationship between truth, freedom, and how sacrifice sharpens our minds to choose well. Some students at Benedictine College are doing just that, and inviting others to join in.
From Oct. 6 until Nov. 6, Election Day, they are fasting from meat. A traditional penitential practice in the Catholic Church, fasting symbolizes detachment from material things, sharing Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and unites our bodies in the spirit of prayer.
A collection of motivations ranging from life-issues to the HHS mandate and the importance of religious freedom have been catalysts for the group. “There is no doubt that the problems in our country are great,” said one of the organizers, Benedictine College senior and nursing major Meghan Mueller, “And for tough cases, Jesus recommended prayer and fasting.”
Together with the fast, which one is free to apply to something else if meat is an issue (or if you’re a vegetarian already, since, hey, it’s supposed to cost you something,) they are inviting people to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet on Fridays at 3 pm, the traditional day and hour of Christ’s death on the cross.
At a time when college students often have the reputation for being self-centered hedonists who are too busy living in the present to care about the future, the Fast For Freedom is noteworthy. Even more noteworthy is its emphasis not only external activism, but on internal discipline and prayer.
Benedictine College Dean of Students Dr. Joseph Wurtz commented, “This shows how our students understand how God works. He chooses the lowly to confound the lofty. I am very proud of Meghan and the others who have run with this idea and who themselves have had the self-discipline to persevere and ignite a spark.”
The spark is already spreading from Kansas like a prairie wildfire.
The Fast has already spread to a number of college campuses, even internationally, including Italy, Germany and Sweden. The group does not advocate any candidate in any election, but rather is asking God for an outpouring of grace so that we, when choosing our leaders on every level, may elect the right people to put our country on a path according to God’s will.
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