Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Question From the Dark Side

Over the weekend, I was getting my bake on in a Jersey backyard with one of the world's great Caravaggio enthusiasts and a star of the Emmy-winning production of Verdi's Un Ballo di Maschera, headlined by the incomparable Luciano Pavarotti -- before he started stiffing the Met and cooking chickens.

Despite having declared himself Prince of Darkness when he turned 51, Don Biaggio -- who taught the world that 666 is for those who "care enough to send the very beast" -- remains an avid student of theology, with many questions about the consistency of Catholic practice. I could write a month's worth of his musings, but one involves the fasting laws. It's too good to save for Lent:

"So Jesus went into the desert and fasted 40 days," my host says. "But did he bring three small meals a day with him? That's not fasting. Could you imagine all the camels that would have to carry 120 small meals all the way through the desert to while he was 'fasting'?

"Muslims have no problem eating or drinking nothing from sunup to sundown during Ramadan. I want to know how Catholics can eat three small meals a day and it's still called a 'fast.' That's just crazy."

It's a valid point, and I'd love to get some feedback on it. Don Biaggio is a frequent reader, so he'd like to see some light shed on this, too.



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