The attack on marriage is really an attack on the human person, and his dignity, for the devil seeks to pervert our true purpose, to pervert God's holy design. For many of us, we cannot march in protests or write dozens of letters or call numerous times to urge legislators to vote for the Truth. But one thing we can all do is pray and fast. We have designated one day each week to fast for these intentions:

1. That marriage may be preserved, promoted, and understood as God's plan for creation.

2. For all marriages that they may reflect the love of the Trinity.

3. For broken marriages that Christ bring healing and conversion to the spouses' souls.

4. For those who are married, for the sanctification of their marriage and their spouse. For those who are single, for their future spouse and vocation.

Why Fast?


What is fasting and why should I do it?
  The answer to this was beautifully given by Pope Benedict XVI this year in his general audience of Ash Wednesday.  Here are some of the highlights:

Fasting means abstinence from food but includes other forms of privation for a more modest life. However, all this is not yet the full reality of fasting: it is an outer sign of an inner reality, of our commitment, with God’s help, to abstain from evil and to live by the Gospel. Those who are unable to nourish themselves with the word of God do not fast properly.”

“St Augustine said that fasting and almsgiving are “the two wings of prayer” which enable it to gain momentum and more easily reach even to God.  He said: ‘In this way our prayers, made in humility and charity, in fasting and almsgiving, in temperance and in the forgiveness of offences, giving good things and not returning those that are bad, keeping away from evil and doing good, seek peace and achieve it. On the wings of these virtues our prayers fly safely and are more easily carried to Heaven, where Christ our Peace has preceded us” (Sermon 206, 3 on Lent: PL 38, 1042).”
How should I fast?

The Church defines this as one full meal in addition to two smaller meals, which should, together, not equal a full meal.  Liquids and medicine do not apply.

Can I still fast if I am not able follow these guidelines?

Of course!  These are the norms for fasting (they are only binding for Catholics (ages 18-59) on prescribed fasting days)  but a person may fast more or less strictly depending on his state of life.  God is pleased with whatever we can offer as long as it is done with love! Remember, the passage from Hosea: "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice: and the knowledge of God more than holocausts." (Hosea 6:6)  On days of fasting, we should also perform acts of mercy, denying our own wants and needs (be it emotional, or physical) in order to attend to the needs of others.

From Scripture

         "But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then shall they fast in those days." (Luke 5:35)

        "And when he was come into the house, his disciples secretly asked him: Why could not we cast him out? And he said to them: This kind can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." (Mark 9:27-28)  

    " When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.  Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.  But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. " (Matthew 6: 16-21)

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

Fasting Throughout History

·           In 1571, Pope Pius V implored all of Christendom to fast and pray the rosary for the vastly outnumbered Christian fleet sailing to encounter the invading Muslim Turks.  The Christians won a miraculous victory.

·           On April 30, 1863 Abraham Lincoln declared a day of National Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.