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Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Pray with Fasting and Ashes

Fasting Recommended

"Prayer is good with fasting and almsgiving more than to lay up treasures of gold" (Tobit 12:8)

"Sanctify ye a fast, call an assembly; gather together the ancients, all the inhabitants of the land into the house of your God: and cry ye to the Lord" (Joel 1:14)

"Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning" (Joel 2:12)

"And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, by to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee." (Matt 6:16-18)

"But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labors, in watchings, in fastings" (2 Cor 6:4-5)

Practiced by God's Servants

"And he (Moses) was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights: he neither ate bread nor drank water, and he wrote upon the tables the ten words of the covenant." (Ex 34:28)

"And I fell down before the Lord as before, forty days and nights neither eating bread, nor drinking water, for all your sins, which you had committed against the Lord, and had provoked him to wrath." (Deut 9:18)

"And I proclaimed there a fast by the river Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before the Lord our God, and might ask of him a right way for us and for our children, and for all our substance.... And we fasted, and besought our God for this: and it fell out prosperously unto us" (1 Esdras 8:21, 23)

"And when I had heard these words (Nehemias) sat down and wept, and mourned for many days: and I fasted and prayed before the face of the God of heaven." (2 Esdras 1:4)

"I humbled my soul with fasting: and my prayer shall be turned into my bosom" (Ps. 34:13)

"And I covered my soul in fasting: and it was made a reproach to me. And I made haircloth my garment: and I became a byword to them" (Ps 68: 11,12)

"And I set my face to the Lord my God, to pray and make supplication with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes" (Dan 9:3)

"In those days I, Daniel, mourned the days of three weeks. I ate no desirable bread, and neither flesh, nor wine entered into my mouth, neither was I anointed with ointment: till the days of three weeks were accomplshed." (Dan 10:2,3)

"And they assembled together, and came to Maspha over against Jerusalem: for in Maspha was a place of prayer heretofore in Israel. Andy they fasted that day, and put on haircloth, and put ashes upon their heads: and they rent their garments." (1 Macc 3:46, 47)

"And as they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. Then they fasting and praying, and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away" (Acts 13: 2-3)

"And when they had ordained to them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed" (Acts 14:22)

"In labor and painfulness, in much watchings in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." (2 Cor 11:27)

By Christ Himself

"Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry." (Matt 4:1-2)

"And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the desert, for the space of forty days; and was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry" (Lk 4:1-2)

The Utility of Fasting

"And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fst, and put on sackcloth from the greates to the least... And God saw their works, that they were tunred from their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not." (Jonas 3:5,10)

"And Jesus rebuked him, and the devil went out of him, and the child was cured from that hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast them out? Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief.... But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting." (Matt 17:17-20).

Note: Holy Scripture from the Douay-Rheims version