Monday, October 29, 2012

Mary TV: October 29, 2012 Reflection




    Fr. Slavko's remembrance on Krizevac     

 (c)Josip Zubac, 2012

In Memory of Fr. Slavko 



October 29, 2012


Dear Family of Mary!


"Dear children! Today I call you to pray for my intentions. Renew fasting and prayer because Satan is cunning and attracts many hearts to sin and perdition. I call you, little children, to holiness and to live in grace. Adore my Son so that He may fill you with His peace and love for which you yearn. Thank you for having responded to my call." (October 25, 2012)


Our Lady brought up that scary word, "Fasting", again. She has asked for fasting from the very beginning of her apparitions in Medjugorje. Fasting is really important to Our Lady. She doesn't waiver on that point. She really wants all of us, her children, to fast. And very often she mentions Satan in the same message in which she asks for fasting. This is no coincidence. Fasting helps us to defend ourselves from the enemy.


Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M., directed many "fasting" retreats in Medjugorje. These retreats were 6 days long, and consisted of silence, prayer, spiritual direction, and fasting on bread and water or tea. A book has been compiled, containing his conferences, and the witness of some of the participants of his retreats. I wish to quote this witness about fasting:


What does it feel like to live on bread and water?

The thought of a week with only bread and water or even bread and tea would scare most people and some definitely would refuse such a proposition. I remember how on my evening strolls from the sanctuary to the 'Home of Peace' (Domus Paces) I would meet people whom I knew. They would always ask me the same question. "How do you put up with the hunger during your retreat?" - "But what hunger?", I would answer in all sincerity. When you have bread there is no hunger. This would awaken within me the bad memories of my war and post-war childhood, when my family endured a few months without even a crust of bread. In those years, I really did experience the bitterness of hunger. How then could I even think that in the 'Home of Peace', with all those baskets full of bread, I could feel hunger? Absolutely not. On the contrary. That entire week I did not experience it like a fast in the strict sense of the word. Beforehand, I would have said that this would be a beneficial cleansing of the interior, when the soul, with a certain ease, draws near to God, where the heart arduously adheres to prayer. Even if not all the people, like me, hungered for bread in their childhood, everyone lived the week on just bread and water. Not once during the week did I hear anybody complain of hunger or weakness. Nobody showed even a slightest longing for some other food, other than what was on the table - bread and water or bread and tea. Maybe someone every so often would sigh for a cup of coffee, but it would finish with a short sigh and a reparational smile. From that we can surmise, that all of us participating on the retreat were simple mortal beings. Therefore, maybe those who would refrain from this type of retreat, out of fear of 'fasting' need not have any such fear. It was all tolerated without any particular effort. The experience taught us that in all of this, there is something really charming; something that reveals in us a more beautiful aspect of our human nature. (Fr. Slavko Barbaric. Be Similar to My Heart. p. 27)


I think it is important to take the fear out of fasting. So many of us have tried to fast and failed. And now when we think of it we get nervous. Fasting is not easy. But it is also not fatal! We can fast! Most of us are healthy enough to fast on bread and water. Some are not. But we can all fast in some way. Fasting builds in us a defensive barrier against the temptations of the devil. And one of his most successful temptations is FEAR! He knows just how to fill us with fear. And so fear of fasting is a good bet for him. If he can keep us from fasting, we will always be vulnerable to his suggestions, because we will feel weak. Fasting makes us strong in our hearts, strong and able to say NO to ourselves!


If Our Lady is bringing up fasting again, it is because it is important. Let's not let fear stop us from saying "yes" to her call. Let's renew fasting!

A little cross on Apparition Hill


In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

©Mary TV 2012




PS. Fruit of Medjugorje airs again tonight at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. Tonight we have Fr. Paul Nomellini, the Purgatory Priest! Just in time for All Saints and All Souls Days!! Don't miss it!