From the desk of A Friend of Medjugorje

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October 9, 2015 A.D.

We received this note yesterday afternoon:


“This is only day 2 and I am finding it a great sacrifice to do the bread and water fast. Please pray for me to be able to continue.”


The difficuty this person is experiencing is being shared by many across the world who are doing this 9-day fast for the first time. However, God is following our actions and blessing us. When we announced the 9-day bread and water fast back in August, there was no knowledge how closely God would be walking with us, sharing these days and carefully watching our steps. It is no coincidence that the daily Mass readings speak directly to us.


October 6 Daily Mass Reading - The day before the fast began and Caritas feast day*:

Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, ‘Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,’ when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.Jonah 3:4-6

The 9-day fast began the day after this reading above. The prayer for the 9-day fasting Novena reads:

“O Queen of Heaven, we unite ourselves with others across the land in a holy fast, reminiscent of the so many times ancient Israel cried out in repentance to their God. By their history, we know God the Most High will hear our cry…”


October 7 Daily Mass Reading - First Day of the 9-day Fast:

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.’” Luke 11:1-4


Daily bread, this is literally our sustenance each day of this fast. Give us each day our daily bread, for the next 9-days. 


October 8 Daily Mass Reading - Second Day of the 9-day Fast:

For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.Malachi 3:19-20

Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him... I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.’” Luke 11:5-6,8

The ovens that bake our bread speak to us of the fury of God against those who openly reject Him. This 9-day fast is to humble our hearts before God, with the persistence Jesus speaks of in Luke's Gospel. God will provide the loaves of His mercy to us. 


October 9 Daily Mass Reading - Third Day of the 9-day Fast:

Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! The house of your God is deprived of offering and libation. Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD!Joel 1:13-14


The 9-day Fasting Novena prayer reads:

 

“We humble ourselves because of our sins. Seek, Mary our Queen, on our behalf, that the Lord not look upon our sins, but the love we show Him through this fast…”


With our fast, we are crying out to the Lord. And though 9 days on bread and water are difficult, especially for those doing this for the first time, Our Lady shows how closely She walks with us. She just said on October 2, 2015:

“Dear children, I am here among you to encourage you... Encourage each other in spiritual growth as I am encouraging you. I am watching over you and am with you whenever you think of me...The Heavenly Father is listening to your prayers. Thank you.”


Do we need anything more to understand that God and Our Lady are walking with us each day? 


Encouraging you to persevering in prayer...

Friend of Medjugorje


* Caritas feast day - October 6, 1986 is the first message given to the founder of Caritas in which She told him that by prayer and humility he would attain the desire of his heart, that the conversion happening in Medjugorje would take place here and be Divinely spread throughout the whole region. - Medjugorje.com


For the 9-day Fasting Novena Prayers Visit here

Ron
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
In our time zone, I am about to close day 9! I am ending the fast, but am not eager to come back to the norm. I am happy to be part of this movement. I would have not done this without the knowledge that some people in some parts of the world are so committed to this spiritual journey. I believe that I feel the same way, Dara. But additionally let me just share, with all my faults and as a sinner, Mama Mary showed herself to me in a dream on Day-6 as a joyful Immaculate Conception, with 3 dancing angels. The dream -- which to me was almost like an apparition while asleep, was so vivid. It lasted until I woke up! What a gift. Totally undeserved. My only choice is to affirm deep within my soul that God's mercy upon us is endless, the treasury of compassion is inexhaustible, and that God does not look upon our sins, because no one is to be found worthy anyway. Quoting my sister in Dubai who is doing this with me: "happiest fast ever!"
Dara Yatsushiro
Kailua, Hawaii - USA
On Day 1 of our fast, it felt like we were going up a mountain to meet our Blessed Mother with our fasting sacrifice; now as we enter into Day 9, it feels like we're joyfully running down it into her waiting arms - praise be to God! Thank you!!!
Dee Dee
Longs, South Carolina - USA
Well, Gregg (my Jewish husband) who loves bread so much, asked if we could make this a 14 day fast. He also wanted to know if we could do this more than once a year! No one in our Tuesday night Rosary group wanted to take him up on that suggestion.....
Mary Wiseman
Alabaster, Alabama - USA
I started this fast on the day that I consecrated myself to Mary with my St. Thomas women's Bible Study. How appropriate! My friend, who is not Catholic, has been having back pain problems and has not been able to go to work for over a month. She received a letter saying she her FMLA expired October 9 and if she did not come back to work, she could be fired. I prayed to our Blessed Mother asking for blessings on my friend and to Jesus using her name in my Divine Mercy Chaplet. "For the sake of Your sorrowful passion, have Mercy on Jeanette and on the whole world." She called later laughing and crying saying she was approved an extension from work and would be having surgery on October 19 to relieve her pain. I knew in my heart that I would never be alone. My holy Mother will always be by my side. I have never fasted like this before. I am pleasantly surprised that I do not miss my morning coffee nor meat at dinner. I am sustained by the Bread of Life and His Mother!
Teresa
Roan Mountain Tn, USA
I am writing this on the 6th day of our bread and water fast. I had planned on having our Roan Mountain gathering of 35 non Catholic community friends before I began my 9 day fast. I do this often for Our Lady to be Her extended hands. When they walk into my home they clearly know with Mother Mary everywhere I am a Catholic. Even the Seventh Advent friends comes. The gathering was all out side. On that day the rain and storms came so I had to make it the following weekend which is the time I would be fasting. I was at my 5th day and there was a feast of food to serve and prepare. Like Caritas family, God gave me such energy and JOY to serve with love. The sky was clear blue. Our Lady was with us with blessings of joy, peace and lots of fun. Our community gathering was not by chance, but by God's Holy will. It was on the day given to me 2015 on our 9 day bread and water fast to bind satan. Praise be Jesus and Mary. We are encouraging one another as Our Lady encourages us. Thank you
Dara Yatsushiro
Kailua, Hawaii - USA
I hear you, Frank! Feeling sore (body aches) and a little light-headed but not hungry and feel fully sustained by Our Lord and Our Lady. Cravings, longings and temptations have not descended upon me en force as I anticipated - I am so grateful and am so very happy for the opportunity of this fast! We are so blessed and I’m so very honored to be connected to all of you through this fast and our Blessed Mother. God’s peace to you all. With much love and aloha from Hawaii ~
Mary ann
Acworth, USA
I find it easier 2 weeks before the fast to drink decaf coffee this way I don't have the sluggish feeling and the headaches. Also during the fast I try to eat bread that is a little sweet. I found that challah bread was easier to tolerate and has a little sugar in it. But during the fast I keep remembering the words that fasting is a continual prayer to God. This keeps me going but also I remember the word sacrifice and that's what it is all about. If it wasn't difficult then it wouldn't be a sacrifice. Just remember the sacrifice Jesus did for us so we can certainly do this small sacrifice for Jesus and our Mother. Before you know it the 9 days will be over so please don't give up.
Anne
Chester, United Kingdom
It is wonderful to be part of a community, all living through the 9 day fast. I also felt unwell, had terrible headaches for the first two days, almost passed out at Mass on Thursday evening, praying to Our Lady and Jesus not to let me faint... Through God's grace, I KNOW that He has granted me the wellbeing to continue and I can't believe how well I have felt since Friday..no headaches and not at all hungry. Amazing! Keep going, it is Our Father's will.
Frank o'shea
Limerick, Ireland
On the third night my body reacted to the fast. Pains in the veins both legs, in the upper thighs and lower back, no sleep at all that night but by evening on the fourth day, no pain. Gone completely. I was concerned I'd have to cease fasting but it's like I've passed through something like the 'wall' that marathon runners have referred to. I am not stopping now.
Leedell S
Houston, USA
Thank you Mother Mary Most Holy for the mission and community of Caritas and all their sacrifices, sufferings, and renunciations for all of us who are lost & desperately trying to follow. Thank you, Mother Mary for never giving up on me, who have tried so so many times in the past and have failed miserably. Thank you for always being with me, as you said in your messages. Today through you, Mother Mary and through my perseverance and resolve to fast and pray, no matter what, a miracle happened that I have been praying for for many many years. Thank you, Mother Mary. Thank You. Amen. Now, everyone who reads this, and Caritas pray that I not let my guard down even for an instant and continue on my pilgrimage of Fasting and Prayer. I DON'T WANT TO BECOME COMPLACENT! God still has much much work of purification to do in my family and me. I will now pray everyday for all who are doing this fast and even more importantly for those who are not. Praise God! Prayer and Fasting do w
Ron
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
I have not written Caritas to inform that I am joining the worldwide fast as I did not have enough faith in myself that I could keep it. It has been Our Lady sustaining me all through these days. I prepared 7 days before this fast just taking bread and water with a little bit of coffee, bananas and peanuts. But when it was just bread and water alone, wow, what a great sacrifice, I thought, especially among members of Caritas who have been fasting annually. There were times that I felt alone in this journey here in my own little corner of the world. Faith is indeed a gift from above. Your updates here have boosted my faith enough to be able to embrace this sacrifice for the sake of the plans of Our Lady. We're almost a day ahead of US here in the east. I am jubilant that I will be half-way thru the fast tomorrow. This recent article convinced me even more that it is the will of God for us to be together in this love offering for God through Mama Mary. Praised be Jesus!
Joanne F
Livonia, Michigan - USA
I too am grateful for the kind words of encouragement and support. Thank God for his Mother and for His complete understanding of us in such a deep way.
Peter Blain
Irving, Texas, USA
Thank you so much Caritas for this fast! I have had a lot of trouble keeping it, and even broke it! However, the Lord seemed to say to me "Return to Medjugorje" I asked "How?" He said, "Through fasting"! Thanks so much for your encouragement!
Leanne Klose
Lometa, Texas - USA
Thank you for the encouragement! I felt before beginning this fast that it was going to be very powerful. I also began the 54 day rosary novena, reading the Bible, Poem of the Man-God and a message from Words from Heaven. I had to start keeping a journal the first day because I couldn't believe how everything was tying together. It has been incredible. I have also had difficulties, but the graces are far outweighing them. Thank you for reminding us to pray for each other in a special way during this time.