I remember my very first Ash Wednesday, my first day of
fasting as a Catholic. For me it was easy as pie; it was
a piece of cake. (Although, of course, I had neither pie nor
Remember, I am a Jewish convert, a veteran of Yom Kippur
fasts: From a little before sundown until a little after sundown,
no food, and nothing to drink. Not even a sip of water!
The not eating wasn't all that hard (I'm not saying it was a picnic, but who picnicked on Yom Kippur, anyway?).
What I found hard was the "not even a sip of water" part.
So, my first fast as a Catholic was easy in that respect. What I found difficult was figuring out the "two small meals that
together don't equal a full meal."
It was like a combined one-day-diet and math exercise!
When Fr. Kelly asked me how I'd gotten through my first
fast-day, I couldn't help laughing.
"Father," I said, "you don't know from fasting!"