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Blessed Detox

The Book of Deuteronomy resounds with Moses’s final counsel to the Israelites before entering the Promised Land. In chapter 9, Moses recounts their rebellious history, yet seeks God’s mercy for them through a 40-day fast. Centuries later, Italian priest Don Dolindo Ruotolo penned a pivotal commentary on this passage, elucidating the profound spiritual benefit of fasting. Don Dolindo explores how Moses’s sincere act of self-denial and repentance opened a portal to divine communion. Through rich biblical exegesis, Don Dolindo extracts powerful insights, examining how we can employ fasting and prayer to emerge from the tangles of sin, lift our souls heavenward, and transform spiritually like a caterpillar shedding its cocoon. His words invite us to view fasting not merely as an act of penance, but as a journey of enlightenment through which we can deepen self-discipline, cleanse our spirits, commune with God, and take flight on our soul’s true vocation.

In his commentary, Don Dolindo digs deeper into the spiritual insights underpinning Moses’s message and example in Deuteronomy chapter 9. As he writes, “So here, Moses has outlined in his second speech, the way to Heaven: we must observe the divine commandments (chap. 5); we must love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, without testing Him and acting insolently against Him (chap. 6); we must fight evil, without yielding in anything to the world and without harboring its abominations within us (chap. 7); we must never forget God in the comforts of life, thinking that our goal is Heaven, the true promised land, which we must reach through struggles against our passions (chap. 8); finally, we must profoundly humble ourselves in the memory of past sins, thinking that we are undeserving of any benefit (chap. 10). Following Moses’ example, who implored for mercy by fasting for forty days and forty nights, we too must repent for our sins, at least by scrupulously observing the fasts and abstinences imposed by the Church.” Going on, Don Dolindo expounds how Moses sets forth the path of repentance, obedience, love, and fasting as portals to divine grace.

Don Dolindo continues writing in his commentary about chapter 9 of Deuteronomy: “Lent must be for us, the sacred time of our lives, must be for us, at least in the merciful form in which the Church imposes it, our forty-day supplication like that of Moses.” As Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2), the season of Lent mirrors this holy journey, serving as our annual spiritual renewal.

Echoing St. Paul’s teaching that “the body is dead because of sin” (Romans 8:10), Don Dolindo expounds that fasting liberates the soul, writing “In repentance and fasting, the soul emerges, so to speak, from the tangle of snares that bound it, is more apt to pray, to implore, to adore, to give thanks.” Through self-denial, the spirit is unshackled from bodily constraints and worldly habits that previously drowned out the whisper of the Holy Spirit. As Christ proclaimed, “everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst” (John 4:13-14).

Read more at Catholic Exchange 

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