Our Lady asks us to fast, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Moderators: Andy08, mamamary

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By chere-gospa
#114634
I have just received an e-mail from the webmistress of the official website of Medjugorje (she is french and she lives in Medjugorje).
I wanted to know if people were fasting on the 31st of december.
Her answer is :
Every one is not doing the same thing... even in Medjugorje !
:D

That lets me think that the Virgin is very tolerant.
:D
PS :
In Medjugorje, people never fast on feast days like Chrismas, Easter...
In this case, they fast on the eve of that day, but only for dinner (they have breakfast and lunch, normaly).
And this, of course, when the feast day falls on a wednesday or friday.
:D
Last edited by chere-gospa on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By OnASpiritualJourney2
#114637
Thank you Chere-Gospa for this wonderful info!
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By mamamary
#114686
that's very interesting! thank you!
User avatar
By chere-gospa
#114690
When the 31st of december falls on a wednesday or friday, you feel torn apart between two things : fasting (because the Virgin asks it) and eating (because it is a big feast, and it's only once a year).
Maybe I've got the solution you need : CHEWING-GUM !
:D :D :D
(I hope my "french humor" is funny in English !)
:D :D :D
User avatar
By LittleRed
#114693
You put a smile and a laugh on my lips Chere :D :lol: :D :lol: .....
User avatar
By mamamary
#114694
what a perfect solution! chewing gum!!! (and might i add...a good chicken broth helps tremendously! :D )
User avatar
By MedjAdmin
#114707
The people I know in Medjugorje, including Jakov, do not fast on feast days, so I think it is acceptable and normal to not fast on feast days. I like the idea of fasting the day before a feast day, though.
User avatar
By Credo
#114754
__
There exists a ‘ranking’ of Catholic liturgical celebrations within the Latin Rite: ferial (regular weekday), seasonal weekday (weekday within a special liturgical season), memorial (or commemoration), feast, and solemnity. Solemnities acquire the highest ranking. Mary, Mother of God which is celebrated each year on January 1st is classified as a solemnity. The fast approaching Epiphany of the Lord is also a solemnity. There are many others.

In addition to the liturgical solemnities celebrated by the universal Church, there also exist some which are observed in particular places (e.g., particular parish), regions (e.g., particular diocese, particular country), or in specific religious orders/societies/congregations.

Although it is generally considered out of place to fast on a solemnity, whenever a lower-class/ranking liturgical celebration (e.g., memorial, feast, etc.) falls on a Friday some form of abstinence (perhaps fasting) remains as the universal norm. (Note: An important clarification regarding this matter is provided in my next post within this discussion thread.)

The common practice in Medjugorje of not fasting on liturgical solemnities (as mentioned above) is consistent with the instructions outlined in the Code of Canon Law:

Canon 1249: All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following Canons prescribe.

Canon 1250: The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Canon 1251: Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Canon 1252: The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Canon 1253: The Episcopal Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are to be observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

Peace & Blessings! :)
Last edited by Credo on Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By starbright
#114776
Out of interest, does that mean that if I want to say more prayers or visit an old housebound lady instead of abstaining from meat on a Friday, or miss out my usual alcohol or something, then that's allowed? I thought I could, but this quotation seems to suggest that you can only do that if the bishop says yes. I would like to know. Thanks.
User avatar
By Credo
#114831
starbright wrote:Out of interest, does that mean that if I want to say more prayers or visit an old housebound lady instead of abstaining from meat on a Friday, or miss out my usual alcohol or something, then that's allowed? I thought I could, but this quotation seems to suggest that you can only do that if the bishop says yes. I would like to know. Thanks.
Hey Starbright!

The canons which I cited above represent the norms for the universal Church. That having been said, various bishops’ conferences around the world have the legitimate authority (cf. canon 1253) to dispense, amend, or augment these norms in accordance with local customs and practices. For example, in the United States it is not a requirement for Catholics to fast or abstain from food on every single Friday of the year (see: http://www.usccb.org/lent/Penance_and_Abstinence.pdf) – only on particular days for certain age groups.

However, since every Friday of the year (excluding solemnities) constitute days of penance whereby we recall in a special way the Passion of Our Lord and sorrow for our own sins, it is left to the personal consciences of individual Catholics to determine precisely what penitential practices (i.e., self-denial and mortification) will be undertaken outside the liturgical Season of Lent. Penance is a very serious obligation of every Catholic. For more information on this topic, please read this document: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_ ... ni_en.html

Regarding the penitential prescriptions which have been established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW), you might be interested in consulting the following document: http://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resourc ... inence.pdf

Our Lady of Medjugorje has obviously ‘raised the bar’ for many Catholics regarding the issue of fasting. She probably did so to avoid usurping the authority of any given bishops’ conference anywhere on the planet. Based on her messages for the world, however, it would also appear that she is gravely concerned about the sinfulness of modern-day humanity. There is a critical need for a great deal of penance! Therefore, she continually invites her children around the world to go beyond the bare minimum of what is required by divine law and Church law. (Of course, Starbright, I’m definitely NOT suggesting that the asking of your very good and appropriate question inclines me to suppose that you are a ‘minimalist’ in any manner or respect.)

As mentioned, Our Lady of Medjugorje invites us to surpass the minimum penitential practices laid out by the Catholic Church. Therefore, we should make every effort to undertake fasting with a spirit of love rather than sheer obligation. We simply try to do the best that we are able… and avoid any excessive scrupulosity.

Peace & Blessings! :)
User avatar
By starbright
#114832
Thanks, Credo.

Over here, priests tend to say that you only have to do penance on Friday if you want to, except during Lent, when you should abstain from meat.

Thanks for your kind comments and your helpful information. I will ask a local priest if what I've said here is right.

Also, I'll keep trying to fast on Fridays. Eventually, I might also manage Wednesdays too.

Thanks, Credo.
User avatar
By bluecross
#114833
Star... in all of this we have to remember that Our Lady was a Jew. She practised her faith according to Mosaic Law, from which we have our Christian faith.

Three cardinal disciplines of the Jewish faith are: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

In Matthew’s Gospel (6), there is a discourse on these three disciplines:
Almsgiving in secret.
Prayer in secret, and how to pray.
Fasting in secret.


It is interesting that these passages precede the discourse on Providence, which Our Lady has referred to in the past and was discussed on the forum recently. And all from Matthew’s Gospel which, it is said, was written particularly for Jewish Christians.

Both the Christian religion and Islam inherited the three principles of prayer, fasting and almsgiving from the Jews.

So when Our Lady asks us to fast, to pray and to give alms, she is simply asking us to live in the way that she lived during her time on earth. If she did these things, then we can take it that so did Jesus. :)

In reality, Our Lady is not asking any of to do anything new when it comes to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. She is simply reminding us what needs to be done.

Regretably the Church has relaxed its fasting directives in recent years. Yet here is Our Lady urging us to fast.

Hail Mary...
User avatar
By bluecross
#114835
I would guess that the call by Our Lady to fast twice a week probably has its roots in Jewish Law.

In Luke’s Gospel there is a reference to fasting twice a week, when Jesus spoke the parable about the pharisee who exalted himself. It mentions the other pillars of Jewish virtue, prayer and almsgiving.

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else. “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on all I get.’ The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring to raise his eyes to heaven, but he bet his breast and said, “God be merciful to me, a sinner.’ This man, II tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.Luke 18 : 9-14
User avatar
By Credo
#114838
starbright wrote:Over here, priests tend to say that you only have to do penance on Friday if you want to, except during Lent, when you should abstain from meat.

Thanks for your kind comments and your helpful information. I will ask a local priest if what I've said here is right.
bluecross wrote:In reality, Our Lady is not asking any of to do anything new when it comes to prayer, fasting and almsgiving. She is simply reminding us what needs to be done.

Regrettably the Church has relaxed its fasting directives in recent years. Yet here is Our Lady urging us to fast.
Starbright,

Perhaps the answer to your question can be found in paragraphs #5 and #6 of the hyperlinked PDF document cited in my previous post. If you remain uncertain - as you’ve mentioned - you can also speak with the pastor of your local parish church regarding this matter.


Bluecross,

Your point is well taken. Many contemporary Catholics overlook the fact that fasting has always been a fundamental aspect of the Judeo-Christian spiritual life – its prescription not being restricted only to particular days of the week or year. Part of the reason for the Catholic Church’s ‘flexibility’ regarding this matter has been to accommodate those who are unable to abstain/fast from food due to sickness or other serious reasons. Yet, no one is ‘exempt’ from all forms of penance.

Of course, Catholics are expected to assume a certain amount of personal responsibility for their own spiritual lives. This includes the prospect of going beyond the bare essentials of prescribed penitential and ascetical practices. Due to the fact that not everything is explicitly canonically demarcated by the Church, personal conscience often must be exercised regarding such matters (cf. CCC, §1795). Unfortunately, this reality is not always well communicated by the clergy. As you’ve suggested, the concept and practice of fasting from food is certainly not an ‘invention’ of Our Lady of Medjugorje.

As we all know, an important hallmark of all credible Marian apparitions is Our Lady’s respect for, and deference to, all legitimate ecclesiastical authority and related ordinances. However, she also continually beckons her children to attain deeper levels of sanctity by not becoming too comfortable with minimalist attitudes and practices.

Thanks for your insightful input and clarifications.

Peace & Blessings! :)
User avatar
By starbright
#114839
Sorry Credo, I didn't read the hyperlinks because I'm not feeling very well with my new medication. I put my hands up to that. I just read your post. I will go and look now.

Also, I just want to clarify something. When I talked about 'giving up my usual alcohol' I didn't mean I usually drink alcohol, I just meant that if I do have alcohol sometimes then I could give it up - I don't want you all thinking I'm an alcoholic or someone who does nothing but drink on Fridays!

Also I want to explain that I do try to fast according to Our Lady's instructions but that I don't manage this every Friday so on those Fridays I don't manage it, then I need to do something else. I am pleased to find that I was almost right about what we are allowed to do, having just read those paragraphs that Credo linked to (sorry, Credo, I still feel bad about that)
User avatar
By Credo
#114841
starbright wrote:Sorry Credo, I didn't read the hyperlinks because I'm not feeling very well with my new medication. I put my hands up to that. I just read your post. I will go and look now.

Also, I just want to clarify something. When I talked about 'giving up my usual alcohol' I didn't mean I usually drink alcohol, I just meant that if I do have alcohol sometimes then I could give it up - I don't want you all thinking I'm an alcoholic or someone who does nothing but drink on Fridays!

Also I want to explain that I do try to fast according to Our Lady's instructions but that I don't manage this every Friday so on those Fridays I don't manage it, then I need to do something else. I am pleased to find that I was almost right about what we are allowed to do, having just read those paragraphs that Credo linked to (sorry, Credo, I still feel bad about that)
Hey Starbright!

Given your compromised health, I’m sure that Our Lady of Medjugorje is pleased with your current level of response to her plea for fasting. At some point in the future, once your health has shown significant improvement, perhaps you will be better able to embrace this penitential practice more fully.

In addition to undertaking specific acts of charity or extra prayer, perhaps you could also ‘curtail’ your food intake somewhat on those Fridays (and/or Wednesdays) when you find it especially difficult to assume a total fast. This is just a suggestion. In any case, simply do the best that you can and don’t feel bad about your current limitations in this area.

Admittedly, your comment about not being a closet alcoholic on Fridays had me laughing. :lol:

Please don’t feel bad that you initially disregarded the CBCEW document for which I provided a hyperlink in my earlier post. When time is limited, often I quickly skim through posts as well. :wink:

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...

Peace & Blessings! :)
By leo daly
#114845
Credo's last post reminds me of one of Our Lady's messages

July 21, 1982

Concerning Purgatory: "There are many souls in Purgatory. There are also persons who have been consecrated to God - some priests, some religious. Pray for their intentions, at least the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be seven times each, and the Creed. I recommend it to you. There is a large number of souls who have been in purgatory for a long time because no one prays for them."

Concerning Fasting: "The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer, one can stop wars, one can suspend the laws of nature. Charity cannot replace fasting. Those who are not able to fast can sometime replace it with prayer, charity, and a confession; but everyone, except the sick, must fast."

Cheers
Leo.
User avatar
By bluecross
#114848
Here’s a message from Our Lady that speaks of Judaism’s three pillars of virtue – fasting, prayer, almsgiving.

Dear children! I am calling you to prepare yourselves for Christmas by means of penance, prayer and works of charity. Dear children, do not look toward material things, because then you will not be able to experience Christmas. Thank you for having responded to my call. December 5, 1985
User avatar
By bluecross
#114893
In a related thread, Spirit asked the question why does Our Lady ask us to fast on the days Wednesdays and Fridays?

Somewhere else the question was asked: Why does Our Lady ask us to read every Thursday the passage in Matthew’s Gospel that speaks of trusting in Providence (6 : 25-34).

I think all three days are related in some way to Our Lady asking us to fast and pray.

If one fasts on Wednesday, there is the temptation to stockpile on Thursday in readiness for fasting again on Friday, just in case hunger may set in.

By reading and contemplating on the passage from Matthew on Thursday, we are reminded not to worry about our life and what we are to eat. I think Our Lady is fully aware of what can happen on Thursday after fasting on Wednesday, that there is a temptation to stockpile and maybe even put off fasting on Friday because we have been busy gathering and feeding ourselves to the full on Thursday.

From now on, I will be reading the passage on Providence every Thursday as I am sure this will help me greatly in carrying out Our Lady’s request to fast.
User avatar
By bluecross
#115691
This comment from the visionary Ivanka may help those who are unsure about fasting and prayer. It was in answer to a question asked when she visited St George Church in Erie, PA, on June 6, 1996.

Q: Mary asks us to fast and pray and do penance. How often does she recommend we do this? And to what degree should we fast and pray?

A: Our Lady suggests to us to fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. When asked what is the best fast, she said to fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. First it was only Fridays, then she added Wednesdays. She also said to come to this further fast you have to advance slowly, gradually. The same goes for praying. For instance, if you are not accustomed to pray in the family all three rosaries daily, then start with only one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. Then advance to seven Our Fathers, seven Hail Mary‘s and seven Glory Be’s. Then come to saying a Rosary, and then all three Rosaries, if you can. Then the fastiing... first start with giving up something that is dear to you, then gradually give up something else. Someone who is addicted to smoking can put away cigarettes that day, or television. Fasting does not mean only food, but anything we put in front of ourselves as dear, as idols.

source: Spirit of Medjugorje

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