twice as fast
"Moses said to the people, 'You have committed a grave sin. I will go up to the Lord.' " — Exodus 32:30
Moses "stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights without eating or drinking, till the Lord gave" him the Ten Commandments (Dt 9:9-10). When Moses came down the mountain, he saw the people adoring the golden calf. "With that, Moses' wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablets down and broke them on the base of the mountain" (Ex 32:19). Then Moses went up the mountain again. "So Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" (Ex 34:28).
A forty-day fast with no food and no water is humanly impossible. Back-to-back forty-day fasts are unthinkable. Moses, however, went eighty days without eating or drinking. This shows not only the special graces the Lord gave Moses to fast but also Moses' love for the Lord and His people. Who loves enough to fast for the salvation of others? Who cares enough to fast for several days? Who loves enough to fast for people who have fallen into idolatry and broken your heart?
Pope John Paul II has taught: "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). As He taught His disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf Mk 9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and courage to pray and fast" (The Gospel of Life, 100).
Prayer: Father, teach me to pray and fast.
Promise: "I will open My mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden since the creation of the world." —Mt 13:35
Praise: You believe in Jesus today partly because the people of the church of Antioch fasted for discernment over 1900 years ago (see Acts 13:2-3ff). Praise You, Holy Spirit, for guiding Your Church!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996