References For Fasting And Prayer
• Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:20; Luke 5:35 - many non-Catholics
frown upon the Church's pious practice of fasting, and say that
fasting went away after the resurrection of Christ. But Jesus Himself
says that His followers will fast once He is gone and does not object.
Matt. 6:16-18 - in fact, Jesus even gives instructions on how to
fast. Jesus says, "Do not look dismal like the hypocrites,
but look clean and refreshed."
Mark 9:29 - Jesus teaches that only prayer and fasting had special
power to cure a man possessed by a demon. Jesus teaches about the
efficacy of fasting and how fasting, coupled with prayer, is acceptable
and pleasing to God.
Luke 2:37 - Anna the widow worshiped God with fasting and prayer
night and day. The Church has always taught that, by virtue of our
priesthood conferred in baptism, our fasting participates in the
priesthood of Christ by atoning for the temporal punishments due
to our and other's sins.
Acts 13:2-3; 14:23 - the apostles engaged in prayer and fasting
in connection with ordaining leaders of the Church. Prayer and fasting
have always been the practice of the Church.
1 Tim. 4:3 - when Paul refers to doctrines that require abstinence
from foods, some Protestants refer to this verse to condemn the
Catholic Church's practice of fasting. But Paul is referring to
abstinence and any other practice that is performed apart from Christ's
teachings. Fasting, on the other hand, is done in obedience to Christ's
teachings of taking up our cross and following Him, by participating
in His sufferings so we can share in His glory. When citing this
verse, these Protestants do not explain why Jesus prophesied that
his followers would fast and gave instructions on how to fast.
Ez. 8:21-23 - Ezra proclaims a fast as a prayer for humility and
self-mortification and God responds. Our fasting is performed to
remind us of our absolute reliance upon God.
Neh. 1:4; 9:1 - these texts also show the historical practice of
fasting. Fasting atones for temporal punishment due to sin and repairs
our relationship with God.
Tobit 12:8 - prayer is good when accompanied by fasting. Throughout
salvation history, God has encouraged fasting to be coupled with
Judith 4:9-13 - the people of Israel humbled themselves
with fasting and the Lord Almighty responds.
Esther 4:3,16 - people fasted for days to atone for sin. Although
Jesus remits the eternal penalty of our sin, we can atone for temporal
penalties due to our sin.
Psalm 35:13 - David says, "I afflicted myself with fasting."
David recognized that fasting drew him closer to God. Fasting makes
us aware of our dependency on God.
Psalm 69:10 - the Psalmist writes, "I humbled my soul with
fasting." Fasting helps us become humble, and in our humility
we unit ourselves with our humble God.
Jer. 36:9 - the peoples of Jerusalem and Judah declared a fast before
Baruch 1:5 - they wept, fasted, and prayed before the Lord.
Dan. 9:3; 10:2-3 - Daniel sought God through fasting, and abstained
from choice foods and wine for three weeks.
Joel 1:14; 2:12,15 - fasts are called to sanctify and turn oneself
toward the Lord.
Jonah 3:5,10 - people of Nineveh proclaim a fast to appease God
and God responds favorably.
1 Macc. 3:47; 2 Macc. 13:12 - Judas and his army fasted in prayer.
OF THE SAINTS
ST. EDMUND CAMPION
St. Edmund lived in the sixteenth century. He was a very popular young English student who was a great speaker.
St. Bibiana's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome in early Christian times.
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary, was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506.
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE
St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family
St. Sabas, born in 439, is one of the most famous monks of Palestine.
St. Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving.
St. Ambrose was born around 340. He was the son of the Roman governor of Gaul.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY
Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously.
BLESSED JUAN DIEGO
St. Juan Diego is well-known because the Mother of God appeared to him.
ST. JOHN ROBERTS
St. John was born in Wales in 1577. Although he was not a Catholic, he was taught by an elderly priest.
ST. DAMASUS I
ST. Damasus was born in Rome and lived in the fourth century-exciting times for the Church.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
We celebrate the event of Mary's appearances on Tepyac Hill in Mexico.
St. Lucy, the beloved saint, lived in Syracuse, Sicily. She was born toward the end of the third century.
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
St. John was born in Spain in 1542. He was the son of a weaver.
St. Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century.
St. Adelaide was born in 931. At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair.
St. Olympias was born around the year 361. She belonged to a great family of Constantinople.
St. Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks.
BLESSED URBAN V
Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard.
ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS
St. Dominic, a Spanish shepherd boy, was born at the beginning of the eleventh century.
ST. PETER CANISIUS
ST. Peter, a Dutch man, was born in 1521. His father wanted him to be a lawyer.
ST. CHAEREMON AND ST. ISCHYRION AND OTHER MARTYRS
The third century was marked by Roman persecutions of the Church.
ST. JOHN OF KANTY
St. John, the Polish saint, was born in 1390, the son of good country folk.
ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE
St. Marguerite was born in Quebec, Canada, on October 15, 1701.
St. Charbel was born Youssef Makhlouf on May 8, 1828, in a mountain village in Lebanon.
CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTHDAY OF JESUS
The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us.
St. Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.
ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE
St. John was a fisherman in Galilee. He was called to be an apostle.
THE HOLY INNOCENTS
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men came from the east to worship him.
ST. THOMAS BECKET
St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118, in London, England.
St. Anysia lived in Thessalonica toward the end of the second century.
St. Sylvester dates back to early Christian times, to the reign of Constantine.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?