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THIS is what the world needs NOW!!!

:prayer:


Quote:
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"To turn the evil in America, a tithe of Rosaries should be offered to God.
    If 10% of Catholics in the United States would pledge to join the Rosary Crusade,
    satanic evil would be crushed in our nation."  --Fr. Albert Shamon


PRAYER AND FASTING ARE THE SPIRITUAL WEAPONS
TO DEFEAT EVIL


We must pray and fast if there is to be hope for the future. Our Blessed Mother has said, ” PRAYER possesses a potent force and starts a chain reaction for good that is far more powerful than any ATOMIC REACTION.”

We have seen amazing signs of the fulfillment of our Blessed Mother’s promises about the power of prayer – especially the Rosary. There have been many battles won in history through the Power of The Rosary.

May 13, 1955 — After 700,000 people agreed to pray the Rosary in Austria, the Soviets mysteriously departed the country on the anniversary date of Fatima-May 13th, 1955.

October 13, 1960 — After Pope John XXIII called for prayer, a million pilgrims in Fatima held an all night prayer vigil before the Blessed Sacrament. The next day, October 13, 1960, an accident destroyed a new Soviet missile, killing many top scientists and setting back the Soviet nuclear arms program by at least 20 years.

May 13, 1984 — After another major Rosary Crusade, a massive explosion on May 13, 1984, eliminated two-thirds of the missiles of the Soviet Union’s powerful Northern Fleet.

The 40 Days prayer and fasting website offers online resources to individuals, parishes and organizations to facilitate these 40 Days in unity with participants worldwide.  You can find information on prayer, fasting, scripture, books, and other media.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SPREAD THIS PRAYER CRUSADE

The Fast begins on Monday June 13, Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, and continues through Friday, July 22, 2016, Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. Please spread the word through your email contacts, internet sites, prayer groups, and parishes. Enlist the aid of your pastor and parish ministries to promote these 40 Days. Please put our 40 Days banners on your own website to spread the word.

Learn More Here
Nothing evil is being recommended here, in fact good things, but I am a bit concerned ...

[o] The site is quite unclear about who is organizing and calling for these penitential activities. There's no names of organization, organizers, etc.
[o] There is no clear mention if this action has any official approbation. Even if our bishops would hardly promote such a thing, in general we need to have oversight to ensure such activities are not excessive.
[o] Such a long fast and penance are exactly the kind of thing that one must not take on without solid spiritual advice. One day's fast perhaps is legitimate to do on your own authority, but if you are going to commit to 40 days, everything else in the "house" needs to be in order, lest as the Gospel warns us, we sweep it clean and seven worse devils enter. The devil can inspire us to do holy things, knowing it's beyond our strength and we will trust in our own strength, fail and become discouraged, opening ourselves to worse temptations, which is exactly why we need to have our director or confessor's approbation for such a thing, and why it should be clearly called by some Church authority.

All of that, along with goals or intentions which are not totally clear make this work a bit concerning to me.

Again, it is encouraging very good things, and "he who can take it, let him take it", but it is exactly in such things we must be careful. Holy zeal can easily lead us, like St. Peter down a wrong path if our intentions and our affections are not in order.

Much better that we focus on doing our daily duties faithfully than jump into such strict and long penances and leave our daily duties poorly done.
Meanwhile Father Francis Clooney, S.J. over at America is suggesting we all fast during Ramadan along with the Muslims. http://americamagazine.org/content/all-t...st-ramadan
What happened to the 700,000 people praying the Rosary in Austria to stop the advancement of Communism?  This was just the 1950's.  They had children at home, but those children would not pass on the Faith to their grandchildren.  The Faith in Austria isn't exactly strong right now.
(06-18-2016, 04:09 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Nothing evil is being recommended here, in fact good things, but I am a bit concerned ...

[o] The site is quite unclear about who is organizing and calling for these penitential activities. There's no names of organization, organizers, etc.
[o] There is no clear mention if this action has any official approbation. Even if our bishops would hardly promote such a thing, in general we need to have oversight to ensure such activities are not excessive.
[o] Such a long fast and penance are exactly the kind of thing that one must not take on without solid spiritual advice. One day's fast perhaps is legitimate to do on your own authority, but if you are going to commit to 40 days, everything else in the "house" needs to be in order, lest as the Gospel warns us, we sweep it clean and seven worse devils enter. The devil can inspire us to do holy things, knowing it's beyond our strength and we will trust in our own strength, fail and become discouraged, opening ourselves to worse temptations, which is exactly why we need to have our director or confessor's approbation for such a thing, and why it should be clearly called by some Church authority.

All of that, along with goals or intentions which are not totally clear make this work a bit concerning to me.

Again, it is encouraging very good things, and "he who can take it, let him take it", but it is exactly in such things we must be careful. Holy zeal can easily lead us, like St. Peter down a wrong path if our intentions and our affections are not in order.

Much better that we focus on doing our daily duties faithfully than jump into such strict and long penances and leave our daily duties poorly done.

CP, you can certainly be a fly in one's soup!

In this instance, you make a very innocent and well intentioned request for prayer, prayer for Mercy on Our Country (Heaven Knows We Could Use It!) into something ominous. I wholeheartedly disagree with your stance. Respectfully, your points are well taken but misdirected. They do not apply here.

Here is a link to the organization's web page: http://www.sign.org/

I have long read their literature and find them very credible.
(06-18-2016, 05:26 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: [ -> ]What happened to the 700,000 people praying the Rosary in Austria to stop the advancement of Communism?  This was just the 1950's.  They had children at home, but those children would not pass on the Faith to their grandchildren.  The Faith in Austria isn't exactly strong right now.

Nor is it in this country, but then we shouldn't pray because there was no followthrough in Austria...??? Really? BTW: Austria STILL isn't communist.

Sheeesh!
This organization is selling a pro-Medjugorje book at their Web site. 

That's a deal breaker.
(06-18-2016, 07:36 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]CP, you can certainly be a fly in one's soup!

In this instance, you make a very innocent and well intentioned request for prayer, prayer for Mercy on Our Country (Heaven Knows We Could Use It!) into something ominous. I wholeheartedly disagree with your stance. Respectfully, your points are well taken but misdirected. They do not apply here.

Here is a link to the organization's web page: http://www.sign.org/

I have long read their literature and find them very credible.


I'm not CP, but indeed, as "Resident Contrarian" I can be a bit pessimistic.

I don't doubt the good intentions of this call to penance, nor do I think penance in itself bad, but one has to follow the good balance set by Holy Mother the Church.

Today's Gospel is a perfect lesson on what I wrote above. As Our Lord says, God is not interested in our sacrifices and penances if we refuse to set what we can on a human level in order. If we offer Him great sacrifices but refuse to forgive our brother, it is vain.

Similarly, if in our daily duty of state we have not mastered ourselves, doing extra and extreme voluntary penances is not going to merit us much. We need first to get our regular duties together, then a regular program to grow in our spiritual life, then maybe we can consider more extreme voluntary penances and efforts. But there's an order to things.

For instance it is great to attend daily Mass. You can gain many graces doing so, but if you're a mother of 10 and you leave the house at 5 am to make two Holy Hours before Mass and abandon the kids in doing so without any provision, you're not doing your duty of state, and the whole practice is actually probably sinful, not meritorious.

Similarly, if we can't do daily mental prayer, a Rosary, some Scripure reading and some spiritual reading, in addition to regularly and attentively doing what our duty of state demands, we have no business taking on 40 days of fasting.

If we do have our house in order, and we get the advice of a good director or confessor that we can do 40 days of penance, then by all means! We need such holy souls today! We need prayer, especially from such generous and saintly folk. Sadly, though, most of us are not to that level and have no business taking on such extreme penances. Most of us are very weak and can barely get through a day without bumbling our daily duty of state. In such a state, we need to stick to focusing on getting that right.

If you are such a holy soul that you've succeeded in your daily duties, and can take on the penance with prudent advice of a holy director, then please pray for me. I most certainly need it.

As Claire suggests, though, something does not pass the smell test here. To promote Mejugore, which has been definitively condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities, and is most certainly of diabolic origin, suggests to me that the people calling for this penitential crusade don't have that balance I noted earlier, and while well-intentioned, their crusade is not necessarily a good practice to promote.
(06-19-2016, 03:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]I'm not CP, but indeed, as "Resident Contrarian" I can be a bit pessimistic.

Ah, but you are "Contrarian  Provocateur"!

(06-19-2016, 03:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]I don't doubt the good intentions of this call to penance, nor do I think penance in itself bad, but one has to follow the good balance set by Holy Mother the Church.

Today's Gospel is a perfect lesson on what I wrote above. As Our Lord says, God is not interested in our sacrifices and penances if we refuse to set what we can on a human level in order. If we offer Him great sacrifices but refuse to forgive our brother, it is vain.

I read the Gospel today quite a few times as I visited the sick and gave them The Eucharist. I don't recall anything there that applies to what you mentioned, on the contrary, Our Savior tells us to "...deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". To me that means, over and over until we get it right, in one sense. Sacrifice and penance are a process, a learning process we need to try to master. [edit: I though that you were referring to Saturday's Gospel, not today's Sunday Gospel, but Jesus' quote, from today's Gospel, also fits the discussion. How the rest of today's Gospel fit on your side of the discussion is lost on me and I didn't read anything about " great sacrifices but refuse to forgive our brother, it is vain." Please set me straight, I must be missing something again.]

In the literature I posted, I didn't see anything indicating any lack of forgiveness nor any intent which would render these prayers and fasting as a vain endeavor. Hollow accusations, ya I see these hereabouts, but nothing concrete.

(06-19-2016, 03:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Similarly, if in our daily duty of state we have not mastered ourselves, doing extra and extreme voluntary penances is not going to merit us much. We need first to get our regular duties together, then a regular program to grow in our spiritual life, then maybe we can consider more extreme voluntary penances and efforts. But there's an order to things.

For instance it is great to attend daily Mass. You can gain many graces doing so, but if you're a mother of 10 and you leave the house at 5 am to make two Holy Hours before Mass and abandon the kids in doing so without any provision, you're not doing your duty of state, and the whole practice is actually probably sinful, not meritorious.

That you can simply state an instance where someone may error, like the mother, however, one must really stretch the point in order to see someone making such an extreme misstep. Poor example, but it shows how much one must stretch a point to make one in this discussion. You condemn an effort before it actually takes place. Thwart an intention to do good and holy activities because you may fail, now that sounds like diabolically induced temptation or deflection to me.


(06-19-2016, 03:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Similarly, if we can't do daily mental prayer, a Rosary, some Scripure reading and some spiritual reading, in addition to regularly and attentively doing what our duty of state demands, we have no business taking on 40 days of fasting.

Of course not, most people are not idiots and some are truly devout and can easily handle such disciplines...even an attempt is worth its earned Graces. 'Doing it right' is rarely if ever accomplished right away. It takes practice and dedication, which is often not attainable on the first try. You make it look like no one should even attempt such a thing unless they are certain to finish successfully. Nonsense!

(06-19-2016, 03:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]If we do have our house in order, and we get the advice of a good director or confessor that we can do 40 days of penance, then by all means! We need such holy souls today! We need prayer, especially from such generous and saintly folk. Sadly, though, most of us are not to that level and have no business taking on such extreme penances. Most of us are very weak and can barely get through a day without bumbling our daily duty of state. In such a state, we need to stick to focusing on getting that right.

So, following your line of reasoning then, it would seem it is useless, even hazardous to one's spiritual state, to even attempt to practice some form of religious regimen, because you may not finish it. Of course that disregards the possibility of Divine Intervention to strengthen that soul to complete their endeavor and find the benefits of having done so at the end. What a defeatist attitude.

(06-19-2016, 03:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]If you are such a holy soul that you've succeeded in your daily duties, and can take on the penance with prudent advice of a holy director, then please pray for me. I most certainly need it.

I fail to see the necessity of a "Holy Director" in all instances of penance. I know of many who follow the penance of abstinence on Friday, for instance, and certainly do not need such advise or support to accomplish it...thankfully.

(06-19-2016, 03:49 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]As Claire suggests, though, something does not pass the smell test here. To promote Mejugore, which has been definitively condemned by the ecclesiastical authorities, and is most certainly of diabolic origin, suggests to me that the people calling for this penitential crusade don't have that balance I noted earlier, and while well-intentioned, their crusade is not necessarily a good practice to promote.

One book on Mejugore does not condemn an entire site, especially a site which otherwise, promotes valid Marian Devotions. The book isn't even authored by anyone associated directly with the site. These are authors in their own right and I don't recall any books by them promoting Mejugore. In error, certainly, I'd agree, but definitely does not warrant condemnation of the entire organization. That line of 'thinking' leads to the closing of libraries, due to what they carry...AKA: Censorship.

Perhaps a letter of complaint or suggestion would be a better course, an employee could have made the error. Way too puritanical and dismissive a stance for my liking. I think it more Christian to take my offense to them first, before drawing such extreme conclusions, but I have been accused in such a way, by someone mentioned hereabouts, as being unchristian.
Zedta,

Your twisting what I have said to fit your own view. This isn't the first time you've done so. Back in April you did the same when we discussed "near-death experiences".

Perhaps you ought to more carefully read what I write, and give me the same latitude and assumption of good will that you wish I would give the Medjugore bookseller.

Nowhere have I "condemned" this request for penance. Rather, I've said that it is, at least in itself, a good thing. My only complaint is that just as with any form of extraordinary work, we have to be careful it is done virtuously and for the right motives -- that it is Prudent.

It is the Church herself that has warned us that we are very weak today, and lessened the penances we are obliged to do. For instance 60 years ago Catholics were obliged to fast for 40 days during Lent. It was Paul VI who reduced this requirement because modern men had become too weak to do it in most cases. And if that's true, then we ought to be careful not to take it upon ourselves to think that we are strong enough to handle it.

That would be pride to judge ourselves strong, when it is the Church herself who has given us a reprieve from what has been the traditional obligation for over a millennium, because we are so generally weak.

Given that, my only point was that because this is such an extreme penance (in modern terms), we ought to be very careful that we are truly able to take it on with good motives, and that's something difficult to judge ourselves, because we often have a very whitewashed view of self.

As St. Ignatius would say in his discerning of spirits, the devil is seductive. He can easily propose a very good thing in order that we pridefully jump in, knowing it imprudent for us. If we act imprudently we have no guarantee of God's help, and so when we fail, we can easily fall into despair, and are ripe for truly sinful temptations. I think of the St. Jean Vianney, who was tempted by the devil to abandon his parish and join a strict religious order doing great penances, simply to try to pull him away from the good work he was doing in Ars.

Now to respond specifically:

(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]I read the Gospel today quite a few times as I visited the sick and gave them The Eucharist. ...
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost -- The Gospel was from St Matthew (5.20-24) :
Quote: Except your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill: and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore, thou bring thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother bath anything against thee, leave there thy offering befog a the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming, thou shaft offer thy gift.

(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]In the literature I posted, I didn't see anything indicating any lack of forgiveness nor any intent which would render these prayers and fasting as a vain endeavor. Hollow accusations, ya I see these hereabouts, but nothing concrete.

The point isn't about "lack of forgiveness", but about doing things in the right order. Our daily duties come first, then when we have done that well, we can think about adding penances and extra works. But we have to get the basics in order first. Just so, works (like the offering in the Gospel) are vain if we do not have our accounts in order (feud with our brother). We need to get the basics fixed before seeking to do more.

(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]That you can simply state an instance where someone may error, like the mother, however, one must really stretch the point in order to see someone making such an extreme misstep. Poor example, but it shows how much one must stretch a point to make one in this discussion. You condemn an effort before it actually takes place. Thwart an intention to do good and holy activities because you may fail, now that sounds like diabolically induced temptation or deflection to me.

I know many who do such things. It is hardly a stretch. The intention is very good, but in neglecting the basic duty of state, the rest has very little value.

Extreme penances like a 40-day fast are like guerrilla-warefare against the devil. We'd better be well-trained soldiers if we hope to prudently undertake it. Just as it's imprudent and sinful to give a 7-year-old a M-16 and send him on a SEAL mission, so too it would be imprudent for one who is just a child or beginner on the spiritual level to take on grave and difficult penances.

Another example is the exorcist. The Roman Ritual restricts exorcism to priest of known holiness, who have permission from the Bishop, have confessed, said Mass, and prepared, ideally by a fast. The Church knows that serious efforts like this require one who is seriously prepared for such a direct assault on the devil. While a 40-day fast is not on the same level, it still is a serious and extreme penance, and something which is a fairly direct assault on the devil. If we want to undertake it, we had better be prepared.

(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]Most people are not idiots and some are truly devout and can easily handle such disciplines...even an attempt is worth its earned Graces. 'Doing it right' is rarely if ever accomplished right away. It takes practice and dedication, which is often not attainable on the first try. You make it look like no one should even attempt such a thing unless they are certain to finish successfully. Nonsense!

There certainly are people who can undertake such fasts, and they ought to. Still, whenever I have done the traditional Lenten fast I have always had the permission of my director, which guarantees me that I'm not fooling myself strong enough or presuming of God's grace. If he who has care of my soul says it's fine, and give guidelines for its limits, I can be sure it is prudent, and can trust God will provide the necessary helps and graces.

If I were to just jump in without a serious consideration of my preparedness, though, it could be prideful or done for the wrong motives, and then I cannot rely on God's help, because he already showed me it was imprudent, and I did not listen.


(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]So, following your line of reasoning then, it would seem it is useless, even hazardous to one's spiritual state, to even attempt to practice some form of religious regimen, because you may not finish it. Of course that disregards the possibility of Divine Intervention to strengthen that soul to complete their endeavor and find the benefits of having done so at the end. What a defeatist attitude.

Yes and no.

To do so without serious consideration, and without a serious knowledge of self, and the preparatory discipline in order, most certainly it would be hazardous to one's spiritual life to undertake too difficult a regimen. A beginner needs milk, not meat. If given meat and he cannot handle it, he may become malnourished, or worse think it impossible to do it, and give up totally.

Sadly I know many good converts who abandoned the faith because they took on such serious penances with great zeal way too soon.

To do so when by steps we have moved higher in the spiritual life and have adequately prepared and considered the matter, then indeed, we ought to take on more the more difficult and serious efforts, so long as they are prudent and accord with our duty of state. In such a case we can guaranteed God's help and we can, even in the case of failure, not worry about despair.

(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]I fail to see the necessity of a "Holy Director" in all instances of penance. I know of many who follow the penance of abstinence on Friday, for instance, and certainly do not need such advise or support to accomplish it...thankfully.

If you fail to see the need of a holy spiritual director for taking on significant penances, then you certainly have not read the various classical spiritual authors like St. Francis de Sales, Dom Chautaurd, etc.

Friday abstinence is not a voluntary penance. It is the command of the Church. In the U.S. it has been slightly relaxed so one is not obliged only to abstinence on Fridays (but some form of equivalent penance is obliged), but throughout much of the rest of the world
it is obligatory to abstain on Friday. Historically it was under pain of grave sin.

Such a penance comes from a holy director -- Holy Mother the Church.


(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]One book on Mejugore does not condemn an entire site, especially a site which otherwise, promotes valid Marian Devotions. The book isn't even authored by anyone associated directly with the site. These are authors in their own right and I don't recall any books by them promoting Mejugore. In error, certainly, I'd agree, but definitely does not warrant condemnation of the entire organization.

Nor have I condemned the organization, but it does prompt questions and certainly makes me worry. There may be a good explanation, or there may not be. Still, it throws up a red flag.

(06-19-2016, 07:56 PM)Zedta Wrote: [ -> ]That line of 'thinking' leads to the closing of libraries, due to what they carry...AKA: Censorship.

Censorship is Catholic. The Church obliged libraries to keep certain books locked away because of the danger they presented to the Faith. One could read them only with explicit permission of his bishop and only for a grave reason. It was gravely sinful to do so otherwise. Publishers were excommunicated for publishing for public sale forbidden books.

That list was too hard to maintain, so it was disposed of in the 1960s, but as Benedict XVI said, it retains its moral force. To knowingly and willfully read, publish or sell a work harmful to the Faith (and that includes non-Catholic Bibles), is seriously sinful.

If we had more censorship (provided it had the Catholic Faith for its foundation), the world would be a much better place.
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