Fasting is closely related to prayer, and even more so, in the form of Gregorian chant.

Fasting should not be a custom or tradition that is done out of obligation. Fasting is a baring of the soul, a gesture of love towards God, towards Jesus. This submission of the will is closely linked to prayer, otherwise, how could it bear spiritual fruit? Fasting or abstaining from any food in itself is difficult and requires great sacrifice for the vast majority of people. However, it is the perfect way to elevate the soul to the Heavenly Father without the weight of the flesh. Therefore, God takes pity on us and strengthens us when we fast and pray. He takes and fills the person. But how could one do this so that it bears spiritual fruit?

Something that is spiritually effective, if done with intention, and that serves to nourish the spirit is choosing a Lenten chant as a method of prayer: like the tractus Ad te levavi of the Third Sunday of Lent (Psalm 122, Vulgate Bible version). Choosing a chant like this one, or another one, on a fasting day as a form of prayer and offering of the day, to enter into the space of God, is encouraging. God lifts us, whether it is through listening in sacred silence or by participating in the dialogue of the Trinity during the liturgy. All of this can allow God to increase our faith so that even mountains can be moved!

Have you heard the parable of the mustard seed? Jesus says in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew 17:20-21: “‘Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. [This type of demon can only be expelled with prayer and fasting].’” This is how fasting works when it is closely joined to prayer, it increases our faith, to the point that it has a supernatural effect. Furthermore, fasting is an offering to God. Jesus himself gives us the example that man does not live by bread alone; This with the mere purpose of purifying us and uniting us with the Almighty Father through the sacrifice of his precious blood, the same one that restores and saves us by removing all the impurities from our being when we fast and pray.

So, let us make fasting and prayer, more than a Lenten custom, a mystical union with the Trinity, even more so accompanied by Gregorian chant as a form of prayer. Let us follow the example as our ancestors did and as it is still practiced in monasteries and religious communities, in the communion of Saints. May this be something that is done by the Holy Spirit, the love and self-control that is offered to God in preparation for Easter, and may fasting in constant singing of praise be extended to other days of the week during the year.