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Friday, February 15, 2002

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Isaiah 58:1-9
Psalm 51
Matthew 9:14-15

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a fast get-away?

"When the day comes that the Groom is taken away, then they will fast." —Matthew 9:15

Jesus promised that after His Ascension His followers would fast. Consequently, throughout history Christians have fasted frequently, regularly, and joyfully. Pope John Paul II has even taught that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (The Gospel of Life, 100).

Fasting is a powerful privilege through which we can be in the forefront of the Lord's great plan of salvation. The Lord has made fasting so important that the devil attempts to rob us of the graces of fasting. He tries to sabotage our fast by tempting us to:

  • abandon God's law (Is 58:2). Anything, including fasting, becomes an abomination to the Lord if we don't obey Him (e.g. see 1 Kgs 21:9, 12).
  • carry out our own pursuits when we fast (Is 58:3). "Doing our own thing" is a sure way of ruining anything.
  • drive all our laborers (Is 58:3). Controlling and manipulating people opposes the true spirit of fasting.
  • quarrel, fight, or strike others (Is 58:4). Without love, fasting profits us nothing (see 1 Cor 13:1-3).

Fast, as led by the Holy Spirit, for each of the forty days of Lent. Let nothing ruin your precious fast.

Prayer:  Father, grace me to fast in truth and love.

Promise:  "Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high!" —Is 58:4

Praise:  Dennis has taught his children to tithe and give alms by holding a monthly "Tithing Party" with them.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting, or our audio tape AV 46-1 or video V-46.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001