Fast and Pray for Our Country

Fast and Pray for Our CountryRecently, 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.


Father John: The ‘Valley’ Talk

This is my favorite talk of all time…by any speaker…on any topic.

At some point in our life, we will all walk through a ‘dark valley’.  Father John Riccardo discusses how to walk without fear when those situations arise.  The key is very simple, yet very profound.

Note: Father John is speaking to a non-Catholic audience at a neighboring church.  The short introduction is made by the pastor hosting the event, which was held during a Memorial Day weekend.


Father John: How to Thrive

Yesterday evening, at Bible Study, I played an 11-minute long homily by Father John Riccardo.  It was well received, so I am passing it along to everyone.

The homily has no official name, but could easily have been titled ‘How to Thrive’.  It is useful for all of us, but it was specifically geared towards high school graduates that will have their faith ‘challenged’ as they go on to college or enter into ‘life’.  (Father John’s parish includes a school, and this homily was delivered on the weekend of graduation.)

Play: Father John’s ‘How to Thrive’

It is far from being a somber list of ‘what not to do’ in college.  Instead, Father John offers an absolutely inspiring guide to how to thrive in life.

If your kids are the right age – and you can get them to sit still for 11 straight minutes – this might be a particularly great moment to spend with your kids, sharing some beautifully spoken help as they begin their final steps toward adulthood.