With time and heat, a few simple ingredients can become a nourishing loaf of bread.
And a community of Catholics in Greensboro is using that bread as an ingredient in a fulfilling spiritual life.
Spurred by Pope Francis’ call for Christians worldwide to fast and pray for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world, parishioners of Our Lady of Grace Church and other churches in Greensboro are encouraging people to include fasting bread in their spiritual practices.
The use of fasting bread dates back centuries. When undergoing a spiritual fast, the faithful consume only bread and water. Fasting bread is intentionally simple but nourishing; those fasting will still feel hungry, but they won’t be harming their bodies by depriving themselves of nutrients.
“If you’re used to eating a certain amount every day, to eat only bread and water at certain times during the day is suffering,” said parishioner Barbara Markun, who took part in the Sept. 7 fast.
“You’ll sacrifice what gives you comfort, for Christ. That propels your prayer to a different level — you’re taking it on physically.”
The parishioners are using bread made from a recipe on the blog Catholic Cuisine — www.catholiccuisine.blogspot.com