Pope Francis called for a day of prayer and fasting for September 7, 2013 in response to the rise in fighting in Syria and the possibility of more war. I found this day significant because it is the eve of Mary’s birthday. In many private revelations, including the well-known revelations at Fatima, Our Lady makes it clear how important prayer and fasting are in overcoming evil. “Many souls go to Hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them,” she said. Fasting and prayer have been known to stop wars, famine and more. Whether we fasted from food or something else, we united that day with the rest of the church in praying and fasting for peace.
Should there be military action, despite our efforts, it may be that Pope Francis will call on us to pray and fast even more. So what is fasting and how could a family with children or ill family members participate? Fasting is giving up something, or sacrificing something we enjoy. For children or those who, for health reasons, can’t fast from food, there are other ways to fast. We fast every Lent for 40 days, and often our children participate by giving up candy, gum, or a favorite toy. I often find the power of fasting is multiplied when we add a good deed in place of what we fasted from. Below are some other forms of fasting and prayer in which our children can participate:
Fast From — And Replace it With
Computer/video games — Reading a book about saints
Watching a Movie — Pray the Rosary for World Peace
Arguing with your sister/brother/neighbor — A special prayer for that person
Complaining about dinner — A prayer of thanksgiving before the meal
Reading your favorite book — Reading from your Children’s Bible/Bible
Shopping for a new toy — Buy something small for charity or a gift for someone who needs it
What are some other ideas you have? How can you help someone with your fasting?
Copyright 2013 Jennifer Gladen