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Friday, October 8, 1999

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Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
Psalm 9
Luke 11:15-26

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"Next it goes out and returns with seven other spirits far worse than itself, who enter in and dwell there. The result is that the last state of the man is worse than the first." —Luke 11:26

All who have been baptized have been freed from the evil one. However, some of those who are not living their Baptisms have been re-possessed by demons (Lk 11:24-26). These are the most dangerous people in the world to the Church, other people, and themselves. Therefore, we must let the Lord work through us to free these people from the evil ones. Because some of these demons cannot be driven out except by prayer and fasting (Mt 17:21), we should "proclaim a fast, call an assembly; gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, into the house of the Lord, your God, and cry to the Lord!" (Jl 1:14) Pope John Paul II has prophesied that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (Gospel of Life, 100). The Lord has decided to use our prayer and fasting to convert lukewarm Christians and free them from the evil ones. These people will change from subtle enemies of the Church and all peoples. God will transform them into light and salt (Mt 5:13-14) to renew the face of the earth (Ps 104:30).

On the threshold of the Great Jubilee and the third millennium, let us fast today and each Friday. The Lord may also be calling us to fast on Wednesdays or other days. If we do not have a better way to fast, we should eat only one meal on our fast days. In this way, the Lord lets us share in His greatest works. Fast! Use your most effective weapon to displace the culture of death with a civilization of love and life.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to guide me to the truth about fasting in Your plan of salvation (see Jn 16:13).

Promise:  "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on My holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming." —Jl 2:1

Praise:  Mary's life was changed by fasting so she now fasts for her children.

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

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 10, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 16, 1999