Tag Archives: fasting

Join in the Power of Prayer with the World

Certain evil spirits can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.” ~ Mark 9:29

cid_C7BD3925-9C9E-448F-8003-827622B26FB2Tomorrow 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 our-lady-of-all-nationsa 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.

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!

It’s been a long, a long time coming…

So what do you say when you’ve been away a long time? I am opting for “Hello again! I’ve missed you!” Some have asked where I have been…same place I was before in the physical sense that is. Spiritually, somewhere new.

The weeks before Lent were filled with a sense that something had to change. Something in me. It would have to be a time of spiritual cleansing and discipline. A time to face the parts of me that had been hiding in the crevices between places of knowing something had to change and not having a clue what to change or where to start.

One thing was clear. God was the originator of the message…change NOW, for me. In the words of Ada Whiddington, from 1891, that came to me in an email prayer request recently,

jesus (1)Not I, but Christ be honored, loved, exalted,
Not I, but Christ be seen, be known and heard;
Not I, but Christ in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ in every thought and word.

I was to look within using every possible action for the 40 days of Lent. I eliminated certain foods and eating patterns, bumped up my daily prayer to include the Rosary, Scripture, and meditation, left myself only minutes on Facebook to see pictures of grandchildren, gave up television and online Bingo and replaced them with spiritual reading. During times of temptation I turned to prayer, a few times when battling the urge to eat late at night I went to my knees begging to be released. I read a wonderful book on fasting by Elmer Townes, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough. He brought me to a fresh new realization of what the power of fasting and discipline are for.

I was trying out something I had heard of before, but never really realized could be done. Kingdom Living. It became very real to me that we are living in the Kingdom of God right now! The same spirit I have within me now is the one I was planned with by God, born with by my mother, and the one that will be released from its physical home when I die. I must nourish this spiritual being that is eternal. Discipline was allowing me to see clearly and I began to love it. Really love it.

Then we got to the Triduum. I began to feel a letdown. A feeling very similar to what I experience when a vacation is over. Easter came. At the beginning of Lent, I planned on that day! The feast, the chocolate, the bunny cake! The day came and I ate because I was “allowed to”. For the next few weeks, my discipline waned. I was missing Lent! In my humanness I need a goal. In the past it would have been a number on the scale. I was in fact very happy that I lost 10 or 11 pounds, enough to give me a start on the next 30 or 40! But this time I yearned for a new spiritual goal, one that would be sought with others on the same path.

This was the key. Seeking a goal in community. A community of others seeking Christ and a change in their lives. I would need to learn to search out meaningful goals that were not self-serving, like looking good, albeit a healthy body is necessary for the rigors of discipleship! I turned to the project that God set before me in April of 2013, our parish’s ChristLife evangelization program. It’s next sessions were beginning on May 8th and would end on June 26th. My discipline program needed a “love” to go with it, a passion set outside myself for Christ.

When I saw the dates on the calendar and noted the tribulations of the weeks following Easter, I saw very clearly that I had lent my ear to the negativity and fear that Satan plants in me when I try to work for Christ. My spiritual cleansing had given clarity to my spiritual eyes! To the point that now I welcome trials knowing they are meant as challenges for my soul strength! When I see the problems’ origin, it’s remedy is simple. Turn around and pray, hard!

So it has been a long time, a little longer than Christ’s own desert time, but then again I am weak and need much more time than he for true and lasting change. I join with you again with renewed and uplifted Spirit, ready for the challenges awaiting and the joys of spreading the message of Christ so we can honor, love and exalt him…forever.

Prince of Peace, is an original artwork by Akiane Kramarik, www.Akiane.com

 

 

Ellen Marie Dumer, LCPC, president and founder of Living Your Exceptional Life™, is a pastoral counselor, life success coach, published author, and sought-after speaker. She is a guide and mentor for Catholic/Christian women seeking to harness and cultivate their aspirations for a life based on faith in Christ.

She and her husband, Deacon Gary Dumer, live in Maryland, have 4 children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren. Ellen loves to paint and craft, read, go on long bike rides and walks, garden, and spend fun time with her friends!