The first few days of fasting are always a challenge, and yesterday being the first was definitely that. However, I got through, with complete dependency on God. I think that is one of the fruits of fasting, you are totally focused on offering up your day to God, you cannot escape it. You find yourself praying constantly, "Dear Lord, give me strength, I can't do this without you."
I had the opportunity to speak with a priest about my fast and the reasons why I am doing it. I felt so blessed to have him pray over me and give me some advice about my fast and its purpose, it felt like the proper way to start this journey (almost like participating in Ash Wednesday before Lent). It felt like I had my ticket and passport and I was ready and excited to embark on this 21 days of closeness with God.
One of the many things that came up in our conversation was the importance of fasting. Father shared that if I recalled the story of the man who wanted a demon driven out of his son in (Matthew 17:17-21), that the disciples of Jesus could not cure him. The man specifically states this to Jesus, and therefore, he (Christ) is the only one that can drive this awful demon out. Later, alone with his disciples, Jesus tells them when referring to the demon and their inability to drive it out of the young man that, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Matthew 17:20-21). I thought this was reaffirming, because the book I had picked up on fasting, started with this story in the introduction. I had the feeling again, that in order to start conquering some of my demons and fears within, fasting (and prayer) would be the only way to get them out.
Prayer for Today's Fast:
Dear Lord, I offer up my private intention to you and for you to release the demons and fears in my life that are keeping me away from your most holy and perfect will for me. I also offer up this sacrifice for all religious (priest, nuns, brothers, friars). I pray that you may bless them Lord and increase the call to these important and necessary vocations and strengthen these members of the Body of Christ to continue to do their ministry that gives glory to God and brings people closer to him. I ask this through the intercession of St. Rita, patron saint of impossible things, Our Lady and St. Franics. Amen.