Begin to pray and fast as in the first days of my coming here!

       (c)Mateo Ivankovic 2015
JMJ

August 17, 2016
Dear Family of Mary!
July 25, 1991 “Dear Children! Today I invite you to pray for peace. At this time peace is being threatened in a special way, and I am seeking from you to renew fasting and prayer in your families. Dear children, I desire you to grasp the seriousness of the situation and that much of what will happen depends on your prayers and you are praying a little bit. Dear children, I am with you and I am inviting you to begin to pray and fast seriously as in the first days of my coming. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
These words spoken to us in 1991 are no less applicable to 2016. We are in great need of peace. Peace is threatened in a special way today just as it was in 1991. The situation is serious. And much of what will happen depends on our prayers and our fasting.
I felt I should bring up the topic of fasting today, because it is so easy to forget it. Our Lady has asked us to fast on bread and water on Wednesday and Friday, each week. She has been clear about fasting. It is not an option. It is something every Christian should be doing, as part of our relationship with God.
Fr. Slavko Barbaric wrote about fasting, and encouraged fasting throughout his ministry in Medjugorje. He gave so many fasting retreats during which the participants would fast on bread and water for several days, as they prayed. Fr. Slavko understood fasting.
He wrote much about fasting, including this book: “Fast with the Heart”. Here is an excerpt:
4.28. Everyone is called to Fast.
We must not forget that the healthy and the sick, the young and the old, the rich and the poor, the holy and the sinful must all fast; although, the consequences of their fasting certainly differ. By means of their fasting and prayer, the healthy will have more compassion for the sick. The sick will more easily endure their cross and, as many have experienced, they will get well more easily.
By fasting and prayer the young will retain their freedom and will note permit bad habits to imprison them. They will recognize them more easily and will overcome them more successfully. By fasting and prayer the elderly will more easily retain peace and live their days with greater joy. They will be more generous and grateful for their lives.
By fasting and prayer the rich will comprehend what they need and what they have. In this way, they will be able more easily to share their goods with their poor brothers. Fasting and prayer will help them not to become proud in their wealth and will protect them from unjust behavior. Fasting and prayer will help them to be grateful for what they have.
By fasting and prayer the poor will more easily carry their cross of poverty and will not fall into the temptation of thinking that they will have everything when they have more, or when they become rich. Fasting will protect them from becoming bitter in their poverty.
Fasting and prayer will help a sinner to understand his sinfulness more easily; to acknowledge his responsibility better; to repent more sincerely; and to receive the strength to free himself from evil and sin.
By fasting and prayer those who are holy will grow in love, faith, hope, abandonment and trust in God.
By fasting and prayer, it is also easier to protect the environment. There would be less garbage; and we would be able to overcome the general world danger of rapidly using up all natural resources as if we were the last generation on earth.
As you read this book, the third Millennium is constantly spoken of and questions are being asked as to what it will bring us. A better question to ask is ‘What are we like as we enter into the third Millennium?’ If we rush into the new Millennium with our pride, greed, insatiable appetite for food and drink and a tireless race for material goods, we will continually cause adversity. We will collide against each other in selfishness and greed destroying the family unit, the Church, the community and the world in general.
To restore fasting and prayer in the Biblical sense means to create conditions for a new life.
FASTING MUST NO LONGER BE FORGOTTEN AND MISUNDERSTOOD. IT MUST BE RESTORED AND REGAIN ITS PROPER PLACE – FOR OUR SAKE, FOR THE SAKE OF NATURE, FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS, AND FINALLY FOR THE SAKE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
A Canadian Benedictine, Adalbert de Vogue, in his book, ‘To Love Fasting’ admits that Medjugorje’s call to fasting has helped the Church return to the practice of fasting.
“Specifically, religious fasting has not completely disappeared. The recent apparitions of the Virgin of Medjugorje have even restored to honor the ancient observance of fasting on bread and water on Wednesday and Friday. But western Christianity remains deprived of living customs and spiritual motives…”
(Fr. Slavko Barbaric. Fast with the Heart. P. 59-61)
The fruits of fasting are solid and long-lasting. Everyone benefits from self-denial. It is so beneficial. And it is a strong defense against evil because it strengthens us against sin. Our Lady needs us to become strong, to form an oasis of peace in this peaceless world. Let’s help each other to fast!
There is a wonderful movement called “Live the Fast” which was begun by Andy LaVallee. His website is a strong encouragement for those who want to fast:www.livethefast.org !! Thank you, Andy, for answering Our Lady’s call to encourage fasting. In these days, it is very serious and important!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2016