From Forums of the Virgin Mary: [Google translation]
Fasting is the most effective weapon against the evil one.
God ordained it, Jesus practiced it, the Church Fathers have preached its importance, the Virgin Mary recommends it in her appearances.
This is why fasting is a powerful and fundamental part of the Christian life.
But for many Catholics today, it is something we reluctantly do on Good Friday.
Would we fast more if we understood how useful it is for our lives, for our families, and for the defeat of the evil one?
In this article we want to make you aware of the importance of fasting in these times when we are in an increasingly tough battle against evil beings. And at the end we will give you a series of instructions on how to best handle fasting as a spiritual battle.
Fasting is biblical, but Catholics practiced it in Lent only until Our Lady began to appear in the 1980s and asked that we do it with bread and water weekly.
And why is fasting so important?
Because it is a phenomenal weapon for spiritual combat in these times of apostasy and spiritual laziness.
From the first days of the apparitions, the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje has insisted that we fast, on bread and water, every Wednesday and Friday of the year.
But it has not been in the only apparition that has said it; it only has been the most famous.
The fast on bread and water is the most important thing to combat the plans that Satan is having at the moment, said Medjugorje seer Marija Pavlovic. “Our Lord reminds us that certain demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting,” she has said.
And in a message on February 25, 2021, the Queen of Peace expressed:
“Live this time of grace and be witnesses of hope, because I repeat to you, little children: with prayer and fasting even wars can be suppressed.”
Countless times the seer has reminded us that fasting works miracles, wars, and natural catastrophes can be stopped because the laws of nature are stopped.
So the purpose of fasting is to bring the created order and our spiritual life into proper balance.
Fasting helps to make more room for God in our life as well as in the events of the world because the Lord sees that we make a sacrifice and responds affirmatively to those who sacrifice.
The more of us that we sacrifice by fasting, the stronger the message for God will be.
But there are those who are not attracted to fasting on bread and water, even for medical reasons.
Then we can take what the priest of Medjugorje, Friar Marinko Sakota, said: that you can fast on fruit.
And that there are many things that we can deprive ourselves of as a form of fasting to begin the practice.
And if it is difficult for us to start, we must start little by little, a few hours at a time, and ask God the Father for the grace to fast from the night before.
During Lent the Church asks us to increase our prayer, our fasting, and our almsgiving.
This request is due to the fact that by denying ourselves something that we like, we remember that the greatest good of all is God.
But if you need a little push, remember what Saint Basil the Great said:
“Fasting is the weapon of protection against demons.”
And that: “Our guardian angels really stay with those who have cleansed their souls by fasting.”
The Bible relates that the two most important missions requested by God on earth began with a fast, without them the world today would not be the same.
When Moses received the tablets of the law, which were the norms of God’s covenant with the Jewish people, he stayed with Yahweh for 40 days and 40 nights without eating or drinking anything, Exodus 34 says.
This was the crucial moment for the people of Israel who wandered through the desert and the Lord proposes to leave there with the Ten Commandments.
And we also see something similar with Jesus.
Our Lord was taken to the desert where he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, prior to the beginning of his public ministry; Heaven prepared him for it.
And there the new covenant that God, sealed with humanity through His Son, Who resisted three temptations of the evil one, materialized.
Satan even tempted Jesus to break his fast by turning stones into loaves, to which Jesus replied, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”
In this way, Jesus fasted and spiritually prepared mankind to face and resist the devil.
So the two covenants of God with human beings began with a fast.
Nothing is impossible for God, Who can change the history of human beings in a moment. And He did so through fasting.
In the Old Testament, we see how Nineveh turned away from her sins with fasting.
The wickedness of the city had reached a point where God sent the prophet Jonah to warn him that in “forty days Nineveh will be destroyed” (Jonah 3:4). Forty days again.
The king dressed in sackcloth, threw himself onto ashes, and ordered a general fast that included the animals.
The men of Nineveh believed Jonah and the word of God, so “a fast was proclaimed, and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth,” according to Jonah 4:2.
God reacted to this sacrifice and did not carry out his threat against them; Nineveh survived thanks to the general fasting of all the people.
And Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 17 when He explains to His apostles why they could not cast out a demon.
“The disciples approached Jesus and asked him privately: Why couldn’t we drive out that demon?
“Jesus said to them: Because you have little faith. This class of demons can only be expelled by prayer and fasting,” Matthew 17:19-21.
In the scriptures, prayer and fasting practiced together become a threat to the enemy.
Because prayer and fasting release the enormous power of God in the spiritual realm.
Fasting promises a great deal of Grace, both for nations and for individuals in particular.
Through fasting and prayer we can cultivate the cardinal virtue of temperance, with moderation and self-control, which tame the disorder that characterizes the flesh.
And also, prayer and fasting are fundamental tools to overcome the devil and his minions in temptation.
But also a plus obtained with fasting is that it intensifies the urgency of prayers.
Those fasting will often choose a particular purpose for their fast: a question that needs guidance; a loved one in need of healing; the defeat of the evil one, etcetera.
And then they will use the fasting-induced hunger pangs as a reminder to pray for those intentions.
As Christians, we need to re-embrace this pillar of our faith and regularly practice the discipline of fasting. Not just during Lent.
And we should not see it primarily as a deprivation, but rather as an offering, a gift given to God to worship and acknowledge his Lordship.
Many times the Bible relates fasting as a way of “seeking the face of the Lord.”
We seek His face because it is He who will lead us out of the problems that afflict us.
But of course, fasting is not easy. It is a discipline in which we must train our bodies and minds to handle it.
But we can accommodate fasting to our life situations.
The important point is that we fast in some way, in union with the Church, especially on Fridays in memory of the Passion of Christ.
Either just giving up meat, or strictly bread and water, or somewhere in-between.
Thinking that we must first begin to fight the inner demons that plague us and keep the evil one at bay.
And then ask for intercession for our loved ones, for sinners, for the souls in purgatory, for the intentions of the Blessed Virgin, the triumph of her Immaculate Heart, etcetera.
That is why we want to recommend this simple guide to fasting:
– set a goal for your fast, your intentions;
– commit to your fast by planning how you will do it and doing it;
– prepare yourself spiritually to do it, with prayer;
– every time your stomach begins to growl, enter into intercession and conversation with God, because you must remember that you are fighting against the enemy, as well as reminding the evil one of the power of your prayer;
– plan at what time and how you will break the fast, which should always be gradually;
– and finally do not be discouraged if at first you can not do it as you proposed, try again.
Well, so far what we wanted to tell you about fasting and encourage you to dare to make that undoubted change in your life, because fasting sanctifies you with the Holy Spirit, and is a weapon to change the world around you.
[For more articles see Forums of the Virgin Mary]