Fasting: Not just for Lent

“They will surely fast in those days.”

–Luke 5:35

 Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11)

– Pope John Paul II The Gospel of Live (paragraph 100)

 

Today is Friday. It is the traditional day of the week to fast. As we fast, we can more deeply realize and appreciate Jesus’ death for love of us. As we fast, we can prepare for the center of our lives, the communal worship of the risen Christ at Sunday Mass.

Fasting is such an explosively powerful calling that the very pattern of our lives must change prior to undertaking serious fasting (see Lk 5:36-37). Then fasting will transform our lives even more. The few pounds we may lose by regular fasting are a sacramental sign of amazing developments interiorly and internationally (see Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter, The Gospel of Life, 100). When we fast according to God’s will, those bound unjustly are released, and the oppressed are set free (Is 58:6). In fasting, we can receive light, healing, vindication, and glory (Is 58:8). When we fast, we pray with power (Is 58:9), walk in wisdom and strength (Is 58:11), and even rebuild ancient ruins and ruined homesteads (Is 58:12). In fasting, we shall delight in the Lord and ride on the heights of the earth (Is 58:14).

Considering the glories of fasting, we would expect everyone to be begging God for the permission and privilege to fast. However, many Christians are ignorant about the place of fasting in God’s plan, and many don’t believe God’s word on fasting. We must fast by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). Believe; love God; obey Him; fast.

PRAYER: Father, teach me to pray and to fast.
PROMISE: “Men should regard us as servants of Christ and administrators of the mysteries of God.” –1 Cor 4:1

 

Reprinted with permission fromPresentation Ministries, a lay association of the Catholic Church that focuses on evangelization and discipleship through Bible teaching, daily Mass, the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and Small Christian Community.


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