Friday, February 12, 2016

Mary TV daily Reflection 2/12/2016

    (c)Mateo Ivankovic 2016


February 12, 2016
Friday after Ash Wednesday
Dear Family of Mary!
"Dear children! I thank you for all the prayers. Thank you for all the sacrifices. I wish to tell you, dear children, to renew the messages which I am giving you. Especially live the fast, because by fasting you will achieve and cause me the joy of the whole plan, which God is planning here in Medjugorje, being fulfilled. Thank you for having responded to my call." (September 26, 1985)
Fr. Slavko Barbaric wrote about fasting in several books. But in 1988 he published a tiny little book called simply Fasting. I want to quote from that little book here:
Why Fast on Bread and Water?
In Medjugorje, the Madonna has asked for a return to fasting. In response to the question, "What is the best kind of fast?" the Virgin responded, "Bread and water, of course." We recognize that bread and water is not the only way to fast, but it is the "Best' way, according to the Madonna. One has to grow into "bread and water" fasting. If one has never fasted at all, it may be very discouraging to begin to fast on bread and water only, unless one receives a call from the Lord. There are other ways of fasting which will accomplish the same objectives in us and, at the same time, help us to move toward the best fast. For example, self-denial from certain foods, eating foods without seasoning, eating foods we dislike, skipping desserts, and simply eating considerably less at each meal are just a few ways of fasting related to food. The important thing is that we begin to fast in some way - now. In Medjugorje, however, there is an emphasis on fasting on bread and water, and there is a profound meaning to it. Bread is the food of the poor. To have or not have bread is one of the essential questions of our existence.
The Bible often speaks of bread. God provided bread (manna) for His people during their journey across the desert (cf. Ex 16). In His teachings, Jesus speaks of the bread that has come down from heaven. And angel brought bread and a jar of water to the prophet Elijah when he was exhausted from fatigue (cf. 1 Kings 19), and after eating and drinking, Elijah regained his strength and continued his journey.
Is it not remarkable, on the other hand, that according to the Gospel, the poor are closest to Jesus? They ate with him and followed Him and listened to His words. After speaking to a crowd, hungry not only for His words but also for bodily nourishment, Jesus multiplied the loaves (cf. Mk 8:1-9; Mt 15:32-39). By multiplying earthly bread, Jesus prepared the people for the Bread from Heaven.
The willingness to live on water and bread for one day shows a willingness to be poor before God, well disposed towards His will. It means following in the footsteps of the prophets and in the footsteps of those who have been put to the test in order to give testimony to their faith.
Bread is the basic food of His people and at the same time bread is the symbol of life. Water is also irreplaceable in our life. Water is also a sign of spiritual purification. In these two truths the message is expressed; come back to life and live. Come out of your impurities and be pure. We are invited to live on bread and water two days a week. As the Madonna said, bread and water are the ideal fasting. The person who lives in this way, two days a week, is certainly doing something good to his body, spirit and soul. The Mother of God has invited us in full freedom. And so, that means that if we are very tired, or we have worked hard, or we are not in very good health, we must not be afraid to take tea or coffee and eat some little thing. (Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M. Fasting. P. 32-34).
We find ourselves in Lent once again. One of the three practices of Lent is fasting. I, for one, want to fast with more fervor this Lent. Certainly the world needs our fasts. And certainly, I need my fast as well.
Lord, please bless our attempts to fast, and help us to grow in our love for You, which is why we fast!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2016
PS.  There is a wonderful group that promotes fasting according to Our Lady's desires called "Live the Fast".  Here is their webpage:  www.livethefast.org


"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
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