Recently, Father John Riccardo made a ‘proposal’ to his parish. He suggested that they come together – as a parish family – to fast and pray for the spiritual health of our country. In his homily, he includes some amazing quotes from early U.S. presidents who asked our country – as a whole – to pray and fast for our nation. At the conclusion, he quotes from a different author. It left me speechless…and crying.
Why didn’t he simply suggest prayer? Why did he have to include fasting? Because Jesus taught the Apostles that the most dangerous things that we face “cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting”. (Mark 9:29, emphasis added)
So, how did Father John’s parish respond? Three days after his homily, eight hundred parishioners showed up at an evening Mass after having fasted for the day, and they solemnly prayed together for the health of this nation. Each of them ‘broke their fast’ with the Eucharist. They will continue to do this each Wednesday for the remainder of the year.
If you are concerned about the spiritual direction of this country, I hope – with all my heart – that you’ll spend a few minutes and listen to this homily. Perhaps you will consider joining Father John’s parish in your own home, in your own way.
Bonus: After you’ve listened to the homily, click here to watch Father John explain a few details about fasting.