Certain evil spirits can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.” ~ Mark 9:29
Tomorrow starts the 23rd International Week of Prayer and Fasting, October 16 to October 24th. In this time of global crisis, it is more important than ever to take our stand as Catholics to fight against the power of Satan in the world.
He does not just float around in our environment waiting to cause turmoil.
He gains success by entering our consciousness when we make even the slightest turn away from God. He is cunning, making us believe that his ideas are our ideas and that they are the correct way to proceed with whatever we are considering. His most powerful weapon is knocking us off track in small ways that we perceive to be “okay”.
Such “okay” decisions as gossiping, little white lies to insure our looking good, ignoring tasks that need our responsible hand, judging others unfairly, improper handling of our finances that ignore the needs of the future and of the needy…this list is endless. You know best your own weak spots.
The way to fend off this insidious power of Satan? As the verse from Mark states, prayer and fasting. And in our Catholic faith we have another weapon. Frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist at Mass.
Fasting puts us in a state of grace by its use of our hunger to remind us to turn to God. It is a way of redemptive suffering for our soul and the souls of the world. Imagine joining with thousands of others in the next week in fasting and prayer. Especially the prayer of the Rosary. Our Lady has told us many times that she will honor this special prayer by bringing peace to our world.
Consider what you can do this week to join a real Army for peace. Daily Mass? The Rosary? Fasting from one meal a day? A show of mercy and kindness each day? An act of reconciliation with a loved one?…Ask our Lord in prayer and then, listen. He will show you the way you can be most powerful.
May our Lord and his Blessed Mother be with you. Amen.
I have spoken here before of my growing devotion to Our Lady and my new enthusiasm for the prayer of the Rosary. Today is the memorial of the Our Lady of the Rosary. She is the connection to Christ her son and has made many promises that this meditative prayer will bring peace to the world.
If you had asked me about praying the Rosary many years ago, I would have scoffed at it, feeling it an “old ladies” prayer. Well, to tell the truth, I am getting older and maybe, just a little wiser, so maybe that is why my attraction to the prayer grows. But, I do feel the fruits of it in my own life and see it active in the lives of others whom I know are devoted to it.
Our Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s in Pylesville, hosted another Living Rosary this past Monday, to commemorate the memorial. Some years ago a member constructed a rosary that fills the aisle of the church, constructed of wire and white and blue lights, a medallion and a crucifix. Members of the church line the pews at the aisle and lead each prayer with a lighted “bead” in their hands. The church is dark except for these lights and a few low lights in the narthex. It is a simple, yet powerful experience.
This year our Pope has declared that a Jubilee of Mercy will begin on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Francis lives and models mercy for us each day and is drawing many people back to faith in Christ through his actions. St. Mary’s will hold the 33 days preceding this Jubilee in prayer with a program of Consecration to Mary, a practice started by St. Louis de Montfort.
Anyone can do this offering of prayer in private or as a group! I urge you to consider it as a gift of self to our Lord and his mother and an offering towards peace in our world which starts as love between neighbors, our best merciful act.
Here is a wonderful article by Dr. Peter Howard on the power of the Rosary as a spiritual weapon with acknowledged evidence of the work of Our Lady of the Rosary. Enjoy!
May you be blessed by our ever loving mother and model of holiness. Amen.