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What is fasting?

Fasting according to the Church's norms means eating only one full meal per day. Two smaller meals or snacks may also be eaten, sufficient to maintain one's health, strength, but together they should not equal the one full meal. No food may be taken between meals; but liquids, including milk and juice, may be taken between meals. Expectant mothers and the sick are not bound to fast. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

In the current regulations, fasting is always accompanied by abstinence from meat. That is, both of the obligatory fasting days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) are also days of abstinence from meat.


What is Abstinence?

Abstinence from  matins that no meat (the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl), meat gravy, or meat soup may be taken.


Fasting is one stone of main message that Our Lady is giving in Medjugorje for more than 24 years now.

Since the sixth day of apparitions already Our Lady has often recommended fasting. In the most recent history of the Church fasting has become limited only to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In fact, even on these days delicious fish dishes are prepared so that practically nothing has been left of fasting.


Fasting stands in the service of faith. Through fasting man establishes, checks and enhances the control over himself. Only the man with self-control can be free and abandon himself to God and to his neighbor as faith demands. Fasting is a guarantee that this surrender in faith is sincere. The fasting man can hear and see God and people more easily because he is free. Once we have learnt that even without worrying we have got enough for living, many fears and troubles will disappear. One becomes more open towards his family and towards the people he lives and works with. Whoever is not his own master is a slave. Fasting helps one to get rid of all kinds of slaveries, especially of the slavery of SIN. Then fasting helps one to bridle his desires for excessive pleasure which tend to lead to reckless dissipation of worldly goods which other people might need for bare life.

In the principle we should establish a new relationship to work, to money and to all things of this world.  Through fasting one creates a prerequisite condition for attaining to a purer disposition which makes love of the neighbor assume a concrete form. One becomes more susceptible to the suffering of the others and starts to diminish the difference created among people. THERE IS NO DIVISION IN GOD'S WORLD. WE HAVE MADE THE DIVISIONS!! And how urgent this is, is stressed, for example, by the gap between rich North and the pour South.

Our Lady's messages give to understand that peace is the greatest good. She assures us that "fasting and prayer can avert wars and even natural catastrophes". Nothing can replace fasting. Prayer and alms giving cannot substitute fasting. One can be absent-minded at prayer, but not so at fasting. It should be stressed that there two go together. We who prays, fasts easier; and he who fasts,prayes better.

How are we to fast? Since 14 August 1984 Our Lady has been inviting us to fast on bread and water, a practice which has not been extinguished in this area until out times. Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays on bread and water should be considered as an invitation. Jesus, too, as the first Israelite used to fast twice a week, and so did probably Our Lady and the Apostles. This Practice was cherished by the first Church as well.

Through fasting one also atones for one's own sins and for the sins of humanity. Steadfast fasting and prayer are the most reliable means of conversion. When the Apostles asked Jesus one day why they had not been able to expel the demon out of a possessed boy, he said, "This kind does not leave but by prayer and Fasting".

There is another dimensions of fasting, a Eucharistic one. As we know, Jesus said, "I am the bread of life". It is by the earthly bread that we recognize the heavenly bread of the Eucharist. By fasting on bread and water we get a better access to the Eucharist.

Bread for fasting!


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Last modified:  06/10/11