Saturday, October 17, 2015


Today is day two of our nine day fast. Starting out on such a journey there may be doubts coming and going in your heart.  If I am struggling this much at the beginning how could I last all 9 days.  Yet it is in these first days when one is beginning to say no to the flesh that the battle seems to rage most fiercely.  Whether you are fasting on bread and water or giving up something else there is a renunciation of that which is comfortable and pleasing to the senses.  

Why would we willingly put ourselves through such struggle and sacrifice.  Saints have spoken of the grace that comes through fasting.

"...although we may be able to do but little, the enemy nevertheless stands more in awe of those whom he knows can fast."  - St. Francis de Sales

"Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity." 
- St. Augustine

Pope's have also spoken of the benefits of this holy practice:

Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the value of fasting in his message for Lent on Feb 25th 2009

The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord.

Fasting certainly bring benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a “therapy” to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God.
By freely embracing an act of self-denial for the sake of another, we make a statement that our brother or sister in need is not a stranger.
Today at daily Mass the priest spoke about St. Ignatius of Antioch.  He shared that facing martyrdom he told those that would kill him, I am the wheat of Christ grind me up!  The words of scripture come to mind, "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24) It would seem that fasting allows one to deny the flesh and allow us to be more beautifully directed by the Lord.  It is in the crucible of sacrifice that we see so many fruits coming.
It is never to late to join us.  To read more about our participation in this nine days of prayer and fasting click HERE.

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