Thursday, October 25, 2012

Renew Fasting and Prayer

“Dear children! Today I call you to pray for my intentions. Renew fasting and prayer because Satan is cunning and attracts many hearts to sin and perdition. I call you, little children, to holiness and to live in grace. Adore my Son so that He may fill you with His peace and love for which you yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call.”  BVM, Medjugorje, 10/25/2012

And when he was coming into the house, his disciples secretly asked him: Why couldn't we cast him out?... And he said to them: This kind can come out only  by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:27, 29)

Fasting has become a forgotten religious Biblical and Christian theme. And its concepts are largely lost in the Church. Yet, Our Lady calls us time and time again to the spiritual disciple of fasting.

"The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature. Works of charity cannot replace fasting... Everyone except the sick, has to fast." BVM, Medjugorje. 7/21/1982

Today, we know that many illnesses are caused by excessive eating and drinking. Obesity is on the rise in adults and children and many of us have developed a disorderly relationship with food in general. As a result of this, many people are returning to a more natural and healthy way of eating.

Throughout the Old and New Testament we see that fasting has always been connected with prayer as a means to peace. Prophets fasted before accepting their service as prophets and before special revelations. Jesus fasted prior to His public life and said that those that are His own will also fast.

When Jesus spoke to His disciples about how to fast, He clearly was expecting that they would fast (Matthew 6:16-18 ). He did not say "if you fast" but "when you fast."

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it, fasting and abstinence

“help us to acquire mastery over our instinct and freedom of heart. (CCC 2043) 1

Our Lady asks everyone to pray all three Mysteries of the Rosary and to fast two days a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays.

To many people this call seems excessive, unrealistic and impossible. Yet, the history of fasting shows the Jewish people already fasted two days, on Mondays and Thursdays.

Jesus did not discard the value of fasting nor did He forbid fasting twice a week. He only forbade judging others.

In calling us to fast two days a week, Mary remains in the tradition of Her Israelite nation and reminds us of the multi- century tradition of the Eastern and Western Church.

1. Big C Cathoics 


Victor S E Moubarak said...

"Works of charity cannot replace fasting..."

I did not know that.

Not much is taught about fasting in Sunday sermons.

God bless.

Daily Grace said...

You are right Victor, fasting is rarely mentioned at Sunday mass. It should be though.

Than you for stopping by.

Do Not Be Anxious said...

At a time when there are so many worries about our country and the upcoming election, I thought it was very timely that the Liturgy of the Hours focused on the story of Queen Esther this week.

The Jewish people were condemned to death, but Esther called on them for three days of prayer and fasting, and as a result the king listened to her plea for mercy.

Prayer and fasting can change the fate of nations.

Daily Grace said...

DNBA, I read the story of Esther yesterday, and I thought about the three days of prayer and fasting too.

Prayer has always been easy for me,I can say rosaries all day long, but the fasting...well that is another story. But, with so much coming in front of me regarding fasting, I have started to pray for the gift of fasting and when I get tempted to cheat I say "Jesus, I trust you"...

Thank you for stopping by and God bless.

Michael said...

DG - you are so right. Fasting is a forgotten "art" - by me especially. Your post is inspiring.

God Bless.