Voluntary fasting and abstinence


Regarding her spiritual life, she makes the following observations. “I think my spiritual life then was better than it is now. I had greater devotion to God in those days. I was careful not to be guilty of even a venial sin. When I made my first confession, I had practically nothing to tell the confessor by way of sins. It was my cherished desire to become a saint. This desire came to my heart after I happened to read the biography of St. Therese of Lisieux.


We used to visit a sister related to us at the Carmelite convent nearby. Whenever I went there, she would tell me: “Child, you must become a saint.” These words redoubled my desire. I prayed in those days after opening up my heart fully – – much better than I do these days. Unknown to mother I would fast on certain days and explain my action to mother saying that I had no appetite for food.
The following passage gives us more information regarding her practice of voluntary fasting and abstinence:
“When meal time came, I became nervous with fear. Mother always took her meals in my company and therefore, so long as I ate with her, fasting was out of the question. Sometimes I played a trick to escape mother’s surveillance regarding what I ate and what I did not eat. When mother called me to join her, I would pretend to be busy with my homework or with the preparations to get ready for school. I would say: “Coming mother. Just one minute mother. Yes I’m coming. You can start eating mother, I’ll be beside you.” On the strength of this excuse I would prolong my  ‘preparation’  and by the time I showed up near her, she would have finished her meal. Once at the table, I would take my meal rather quickly and thus manage not to eat meat, fish, butter-milk etc and turn these items over to the servants as leftovers. I considered each act of  abstinence a floral bouquet to be submitted to the Blessed Virgin Mother.”