On this Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, I offer three of Our Lady’s messages on fasting for us to ponder. May we reflect deeply on the power God gives to our sacrifices and prayers:
“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.” (July 21, 1982)
“Dear children! Today also I invite
you to prayer. Only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped. Therefore,
my dear little children, pray and by your life give witness that you
are mine and that you belong to me, because Satan wishes in these
turbulent days to seduce as many souls as possible. Therefore, I invite
you to decide for God and He will protect you and show you what you
should do and which path to take. I invite all those who have said “yes”
to me to renew their consecration to my Son Jesus and to His Heart and
to me so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this
unpeaceful world. Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray
and live the days of grace that God is giving you. Therefore, dear
children, accept the call to prayer with seriousness. I am with you and
your suffering is also mine. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
April 25, 1992
“Dear children! Today I call you to
renew prayer and fasting with even greater enthusiasm until prayer
becomes a joy for you. Little children, the one who prays is not afraid
of the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil. Once again, I
repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped
– wars of your unbelief and fear for the future. I am with you and am
teaching you little children: your peace and hope are in God. That is
why draw closer to God and put Him in the first place in your life.
Thank you for having responded to my call.” January 25, 2001
Mary’s greatest desire is to bring us to God. So the call of fasting is not to just stop wars throughout the world, (although I’m sure she desires this), but the core of the message is the stop the wars that are being waged within us (for wars within our world are caused by people who are, first of all, at war within themselves).
So, ultimately, Our Mother is calling us to pray and fast to stop the wars raging within our own bodies, hearts, minds and wills… How greatly she must desire to replace the wars of sin, greed, gluttony, selfishness, lust, hatred and disbelief that rage both inside and around us with the “peace that surpasses understanding” (Phil 4:7).
But the only way to do this is to bring us to God, Who alone gives us this type of peace.
He is able to give us this peace only when we draw close to Him through prayer and fasting.
The more we fast and pray,
the more we are drawn into a relationship of love with God.
The more we pray, the closer we become to God.
The more we sacrifice our wants, the stronger are wills become… which helps us choose God over the seductions of the Devil…
and the more we choose God and are in relationship with God,
the more we realize how deeply He loves us…
and this understanding of God and His Love for us, transforms us so much that we begin to realize we have nothing to fear…
For no one and nothing is more powerful than God. Nor can anyone or anything love us or intimately care and provide for our needs more than He does.
Perhaps that is why Our Lady came to Medjugorje as the Queen of Peace – because in this noisy, distracted, evil and sinful world we have so little peace in ourselves and in our homes – let alone the world. So she comes to remind us the only way to peace is to draw near to God, Who is the source of peace and all fulfillment.
May we take Our Mother’s call for us to fast and pray to heart this day — and may we always pray for one another and Our Mother’s intentions and plans to be realized, so that wars can be stopped and souls may be drawn closer to God, in Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved.