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Saturday, July 5, 1997

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St. Anthony Zaccaria

Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
Psalm 135
Matthew 9:14-17

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a fast month (part 1) (see july 7)

"When the day comes that the Groom is taken away, then they will fast." —Matthew 9:15

After a brief moratorium on fasting, Jesus promised that His disciples would fast with such zeal that they would not have been able to stand it unless they had received a new wineskin, a new life in the Spirit (Mt 9:17).

Now is this time for vigorous, rigorous, powerful, loving fasting in the Spirit. The Lord has decided to drive out certain demons only in this way (Mt 17:21). Pope John Paul II has prophesied that by prayer and fasting the demons behind abortion are to be driven out (The Gospel of Life, 100). He taught that, when we fast in the Holy Spirit, power from heaven descends and walls of deceit are broken down.

Ask the Lord to teach you more about fasting in this month of July. Ask Him how many days and in what way you are to fast in this month. Fast for a certain reason, especially for the protection of children in their mothers' wombs. Ask the Lord for the strength to persevere in this fast and learn from it, especially about God's call to fast. Consider asking others to fast with you. You may well remember July 1997 for the rest of your life.

Prayer:  Father, in this year focused on Jesus in preparation for the third millennium, may I fast according to Your will.

Promise:  "May God give to you of the dew of the heavens and of the fertility of the earth." —Gn 27:28

Praise:  Anthony's public penances and frequent Holy Communions led many others to repentance, holiness, and Communion.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996