Saturday, April 20, 2019

Can We Imagine the Glory of What's Happening on Holy Saturday?

Scripture tells us that darkness fell upon the earth from noon to midafternoon while Jesus hung on the Cross, and then, at the moment Jesus died the 8 foot thick curtain that enclosed the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem temple was rent in two, the earth quaked, and the dead were raised...
"Jesus cried out in a loud voice and then gave up his spirit. Suddenly the curtain of sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, boulders split, tombs opened. Many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After Jesus' resurrection they came forth from their tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many."  Matthew 27: 50-53
And imagine how wondrous the work Jesus was accomplishing on Holy Saturday.

While those on earth (all, except Mary) wept in deep and bitter sorrow, believing all was lost...
Jesus was harrowing "hell".
He was bringing eternal glory to all the righteous who had lived before Him,
who, up until the Triumph of the Cross, were unable to enter heaven because of the sin of Adam and Eve. 
All were now freed!
What a glorious reality to contemplate!

For sin and death have truly be vanquished in and through the Cross of Christ! 
...the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
...we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 1 Corinthians 1: 18-19, 23-25
Imagine the tombs splitting open and the bodies of the saints who had died before Christ being raised by Him... some even appearing to many in Jerusalem!
What did they say?
If they spoke, they must have proclaimed the power and the wisdom of Christ
poured out in unending love from the Cross! 

It is sometimes hard to fathom the glory of the Cross if we look only at the excruciating suffering Jesus endured. But Scripture says:
For the sake of the joy that lay before him Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2).
Saying also, when it came time for him to enter into His Hour: “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him." (John 13: 31).

Recognizing the glory of the Jesus' Cross, helps us imagine the glory of our own Crosses as well. Many saints assure us that our Crosses are truly the most precious gifts we have on earth. Echoing St. Paul:
For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4: 17-18
We are not discouraged, then, when our hearts are set on heaven and the place prepared for us, which: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

As we await the Resurrection, then, let us pray for the grace to embrace our own crosses, realizing their infinite worth and goodness when united to the Cross of Christ.

© 2019 Janet Moore. All Rights Reserved.

Each Holy Saturday, the Church offers this homily (in the Breviary's Office of Readings) to help us enter into the reality of what the Cross of Christ accomplished.
It has been such a gift to me that I long to read it each year. 
May it be a gift to you as well:

From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday
The Lord descends into hell
Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

Friday, April 19, 2019

O, How God Loves Us!

Help for fasting on this Good Friday
Today we celebrate the depth of Jesus' love for us by remembering the tremendous suffering He endured for our salvation.
On this day, (while it seemed the exact opposite), Satan's power over us was destroyed!
Satan's hold on us through sin and death has been vanquished and God has won an eternal and everlasting victory for all who believe and accept God's love through the Cross.
Salvation is a free gift and yet, it also must be freely chosen. 
We have to choose Jesus and His salvation, and unfortunately, many in our world have not. Many believe satan's lies and cling to their sin.

God could have accomplished everything for us by His strength, but He has asked us to freely participate in bringing to fullness the salvation He has won. 
He asked to be other Christs: to be His Hands and Feet, His Heart, His Voice...
Our fasting and prayer is a participation in redemption, and it is through these means that we are both protected from satan's snares and help to break the hold satan still has over those he has deceived.
Our Lady teaches us that our fasting and prayer, united with Christ's passion and resurrection, pours out graces of love and redemption upon those who don't believe and have not yet known God's love. 

Mary teaches us that fasting stops wars. 
Who of us isn't in the midst of war, of sin and division? Who of us doesn't need to continually combat lies that come against our minds and souls? Who of us can say we have never been deceived?
The greatest war is the enemy's constant attacks against our minds and souls that call us to distrust God rather than having faith in Him, and to choose selfishness rather than the selflessness of love, gluttony over self-denial, lust over purity, greed over charity, wrath over forgiveness, envy and jealousy over kindness and gratitute, sin over holiness, pride over humility, war and division over peace and unity, choosing to be strong in ourselves rather being weak in Christ:
But the Lord said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.…
In the midst of this battle, Mary has come to tell us we are essential to fulfilling God's plan.
We matter!

“Dear children, behold, also today I want to call you to start living a new life as of today. Dear children, I want you to comprehend that God has chosen EACH ONE OF YOU, in order to use you in a great plan for the salvation of mankind. You are not able to comprehend how great your role is in God’s design. Therefore, dear children, pray so that in prayer you may be able to comprehend what God’s plan is in your regard. I am with you in order that you may be able to bring it about in all its fullness. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (1/25/87)

She tells us we needs to live her messages in order for God's plan to be fulfilled, which is to bring about the Triumph she first prophesied in Fatima!

The fruit of Mary's womb, Jesus, brought about the ultimate Triumph and crushed Satan fully and completely on the Cross on Good Friday, but it is up to us to live out this salvation. 

In this age, Our Lord wants to establish devotion to Mary - he wants all to see her integral part in God's plan of salvation. 

After showing the children hell, Mary said in Fatima: "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."(7/13/1907)
For we would not have had the person of Jesus without her, for although He was God, He chose to be formed in her womb.  Jesus and Mary are intimately united and will be for all eternity. Because Jesus is a Divine Person, He lived not only His life on earth, but also as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, always lived outside of space and time - therefore every aspect of Jesus' life is also eternal. All time - past, present and future - is as one for Him ... thus, in a certain sense, we can say Jesus is still present in the womb of Mary, He is still a newborn dependent on her nourishment and care, He is still a son being sheltered and provided for by St. Joseph, etc. - even now because God IS - I AM WHO I AM - existence itself - thus, all times associated with Him are eternal. 

That is why when we can participate in the Holy Mass, we can truly be present at Calvary. The veil of time and space is lifted and we are there in the one eternal ever-living Sacrifice of Jesus offering Himself to the Father. The part that is ever new, is our participation in this Mystery - as we unite ourselves to Christ in His offering to the Father, through the grace and salvation He first won and shared with us. 

This understanding helps us begin to understand how truly united and inseparable Mary and Jesus are... and how God - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - long to proclaim her part in crushing satan through her complete humility. For Mary was the littlest of all. There was no hint of pride or vanity in her that blocked grace - she was so empty of selfishness and so humble that she could be completely Full of Grace -
So she, filled with God's life and love to the full, became the fulfillment of the first promise of God following the Fall:
“I will put enmities between thee [the serpent] and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” Gen 3:15.
It is to littlest one, Mary, that He has entrusted us. It is her complete and total humility that has made her the head-crusher of satan, and in so far as we are humble and united to her, we too participate in this great plan of God. 
O, nothing causes satan more pain than to be brought down by mere creatures, who through humility, prayer and sacrifice heap burning coals of love and mercy upon his head - O, what horror for him!
No, God did not leave us to battle satan alone during these 100 years of trial. Instead, He has given us his Mother to be our own. 

Her messages are Heaven's battle plan against satan.
She tells us that, through our cooperation, we have a part to play in ending the power satan has been allowed to have for these past hundred years. This reality was shown to Pope Leo XIII in a horrible vision. He was so shaken by what he saw that he sat down at once and composed the St. Michael Prayer, which he asked to be prayed after every Mass throughout the world.
This vision took place on Oct. 13th, 1884 -- exactly 33 years before the great miracle of the sun at Fatima!

Watch this for some incredible insights regarding Pope Leo's vision and Fatima:

Mary in Fatima asked the children to pray and offer sacrifices for the salvation of souls, saying:
“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.” Our Lady of Fatima, August 19, 1917
Mary asks the same from us today through her requests for prayers and fasting in Medjugorje. She also confirmed that it would also be through Medjugorje that her plans in Fatima would be fulfilled, saying to Mirjana:

“What I have started in Fatima I will finish in Medjugorje. My heart will triumph.”

Her triumph is the defeat of satan's power in the lives of her children. 
Likewise it was through Medjugorje that Mary confirmed Pope Leo XIII's vision of the Church being allowed to be tried by satan. Mirjana revealed that satan came disguised asking her to renounce Our Lady and to follow him. If she did so, she would be happy; but if she chose to follow Our Lady, her life would be filled with suffering. Mirjana rejected him and immediately, Our Lady came to Mirjana and satan disappeared. 
Then Our Lady gave Mirjana the following message:
“… Excuse me for this, but you must realize that satan exists. One day he appeared before the throne of God and asked permission to submit the Church to a period of trial. God gave him permission to try the Church for one century. This century is under the power of the devil, but when the secrets confided to you come to pass, his power will be destroyed. Even now he is beginning to lose his power and has become aggressive. He is destroying marriages, creating division among priests and is responsible for obsessions and murder. you must protect yourselves against these things through fasting and prayer, especially community prayer. Carry blessed objects with you. Put them in your house and restore the use of holy water…” 
(Mirjana revealed this occurrence and message to Pope John Paul II in a letter in December 1982…)

The antidote to the reality of satan, of sin and of evil is love and humility. 
It is Mary. Inseparably united to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit... whose only desire is to do whatever He tells her... 
This humility, love and union with God is the only source of peace. 

Saint Jacinta of Fatima implores us:
"Pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted it to her."
Coming as the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, Mary gives us the weapons of victory: 
Participation in Jesus' Sacrifice of Love, Grace and Mercy poured out in our daily bread - Holy Mass, 
Conversion of heart - Confession, 
Feasting on His Holy Word - Scripture, 
Lifting our minds and hearts in communication with God - Prayer 
and renunciation of our selfishness - Fasting. 

We, who listen and live her messages are her chosen ones, and perhaps it is us of whom St. Louis de Montfort prophesied:
Towards the end of the world ... Almighty God and His holy Mother are to raise up saints who will surpass in holiness most other saints as much as the cedars of Lebanon tower above little shrubs.
These great souls filled with grace and zeal will be chosen to oppose the enemies of God who are raging on all sides. They will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, strengthened by her spirit, supported by her arms, sheltered under her protection, they will fight with one hand and build with the other.

With one hand they will give battle, overthrowing and crushing heretics and their heresies, schismatics and their schisms, idolaters and their idolatries, sinners and their wickedness. With the other hand they will build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God, namely, the Blessed Virgin. ...
They will be like thunderclouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God's word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin; they will storm against the world; they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God's word all those against whom they are sent by Almighty God.
They will be true apostles of the latter times to whom the Lord of Hosts will give eloquence and strength to work wonders and carry off glorious spoils from His enemies. They will sleep without gold or silver and, more important still, without concern in the midst of other priests, ecclesiastics and clerics. Yet they will have the silver wings of the dove enabling them to go wherever the Holy Spirit calls them, filled as they are, with the resolve to seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love, which is the fulfillment of the whole law.

They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the bloodstained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the Rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart.

Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Christ. ... But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her.
Know of my heartfelt prayers for each of you on this Good Friday. May we pray continually as Mary calls us:  
Pray, Pray, Pray - Pray until it becomes a joy for you
For it is only in prayer that we can come to know to the depth of our being:

O, Jesus, O, how You love us! 
O, Father, O, how You love us!
O, Spirit, O, how You love us!
It is this love for each soul He has created that compels Him to send us His Mother to help save us, 
for the "The loss of each soul brings me to a mortal sadness"....
it is this love for each one of us that brought Him to reveal Himself as Divine Mercy 
and it is for this reason He asks us to begin to pray the Divine Mercy Novena today.

May we live this Good Friday in love of Him - offering up ourselves in fasting and prayer and in thanksgiving for His Unfathomable Love for us -
and praying for one another - 
as well as praying always for the conversion of souls!

© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Jakov's Testimony on Medjugorje - "Dear Children, It is Enough to Open your Heart and I Will Do the Rest."

Help for fasting on this Wednesday of the sixth week of Lent

Today, I wanted to share a talk given by the Visionary Jakov Colo. He was only 10 years old when the apparitions began. In this talk, he speaks about what he believes is most important for us to know and live. It is refreshing to hear his wisdom and to place Our Lady's call to fast on this day within the context of her entire coming.
Let us, as always, pray for each other - asking for the grace to be able to place ourselves into the hands of Our Lady and God, allowing them to do the rest.

I pray you enjoy Jakov's talk:

I've tried to write a few notes from his beautiful and inspiring talk:
The most important part is Our Lady's messages
Live the messages as a child...
It is difficult to describe the love Our Lady has for us
How much you feel loved and protected
There are not enough words to describe it have the joy and peace that I never felt before.

New life began for me
First question, how is it possible to live this new life?
Our Lady said:
"Dear Children,
It is enough to open your heart and I will do the rest."
I realized at that moment, I could put my life into Mary's hands, my heart into God's hands and my new life started.
Through Our Lady I met Jesus.
This is the real reason Our Lady has come to bring us to Jesus
Don't ask why.  God knows why. It is God's plan.
We need to say something else, we need to say thanks.
We need to say thanks for all he gives to us and for giving Mary to us for so long.
You will understand that Mary is mother and she loves her children.
She wants to lead her to peace and joy - which is Jesus Christ.

Her messages are about how to recognize Him...
She invites us to pray.
Repeating, pray, pray, pray.
Pray with your heart. Feel the peace and joy in your heart.
Prayer is supposed to be our daily food.
Prayer is the answer to everything we ask for.

People come with many questions and ask us for answers.
If you open your heart and have a strong faith and prayer and God will do the rest.
Prayer should be the first place in our families.
Our Lady said, "Nothing can unite a family as praying together..."

So many people need us, but we don't see them.
To be Christian we have to show in our faith.
Smile I believe each Christian has to show joy of being with God.
Our Lady asks us to be her witnesses...
so we have to have the joy on our faces.

You parents are the ones that have to put the roots of faith in your children. And one day if they go away they will come back, because they have the roots of faith in their heart.

At 13:15 he begins to talk about fasting:
Why to fast?
Many decide it's difficult before they even start to fast.
"Dear Children, with prayer and fasting you can stop anything - even stop wars."
That is why we fast.
We are looking for many answers, searching...
We know what we are to do, but we don't do it.
To live in God is our strength.
And it is the answer to everything we are asking for.
Fasting is a very small sacrifice
How many people die because they're hungry?

You do many things... without blessing.
Many times we are asking without God's blessing
Then everything that we have is nothing....

Visiting Medjugorje:
The visionaries ordinary - we all want to be holy
There are signs all around us, we just don't recognize them.
Each person here is a sign of God, but many times we don't see them.
Conversion to change our life.
New life with God.
Even more important, is to bring that gift of conversion back home.

There is no coincidence.
The real pilgrimage starts when you come back home.
We have to be witnesses with our lives.
When others recognize God in us, it is the real example.
So many don't believe in God. We can help them by our example and prayers.

Pray for peace in our hearts.
This world needs peace.
War - war isn't only when you use a weapon.
How many young people are destroyed today?
How many abortions?
With our example and with prayer and fasting we can stop wars.

There is only one thing for us to do.
Open our heart to God and pray. The rest God will do.

Vicka and I pray for sick people.
I first pray for healing of hearts.
Sickness can be plan from God for us.
We can say, "God it might be your will."
Our God is our Father. Who knows better than Him what we need?
We just need to place ourselves in God's hands and let Him do the rest.

Open your heart to Our Lady.
"Dear Children,
If you knew how much I loved you, you would cry for you."
How much do I love Our Lady?

Think about her thanking us at the end of each message...
we are supposed to be thanking her and God for all the graces they give to us.

Lastly, a wanted to share a video of one of Jakov's annual Christmas apparitions:

© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Praising God for His Goodness Amid the Devastation of Notre Dame!

Through the heartbreaking devastation and reports of this being one of many planned attacks against Christianity...…/vandalism-at-hundreds-of-frenc……/twelve-french-churches-attack…/……/notre-dame-intentionally-set.h…/…
I am praising God for His amazing goodness, who writes straight with crooked lines!
Because the greatest treasures remain, while He uses this to bring His people to Himself!

Here is a partial listing of God's immeasurable goodness that remains evident even amid the heartbreaking destruction of Notre Dame:
The Blessed Sacrament and the relics were saved!…/456622-notre-dame-cross-crown-relics/…
The Crown of Thorns was saved by many passing the relics from person to person out of the fire!…/news-story/479c5ced6b0ec8be4821e1…

People spontaneously began singing and praying in great reverence and heartache as the Cathedral burned!…/201904161074166158-notre-dame-…/…

A billionaire offered millions to rebuild!…/francois-pinault-to-h…/… 

The interior of the Cathedral is relatively unharmed!…/inside-notre-dame-cathedral-inter…/…

The Cross of Jesus is shining bright and untouched amid the ashes!

Even the anti-God, anti-faith mainstream media, through this tragedy, has been covering the beauty and glory of our faith!

Remember, what Satan means for our harm, God always turns to our good. 
As millions have mourned the loss of Notre Dame today...
Literally millions are experiencing the pain of Holy Week - many for the first time 
as they mourn the loss of such a treasure - and it's beautiful and meaningful symbols of Christianity. 
Many are so struck by the tragedy and the devastation that they are praying 
- some probably for the first time, 
others for the first time in many years! 
Isn't it amazing...
How beautifully God pours grace unto the flames of sin and devastation?!
So, although, I, too, mourn deeply the heartbreaking devastation 
of such beauty, 
recognizing that over 200 years of thousands building 
with faithful devotion 
hard work
master craftsmanship 
and skill 
went up in flames before our eyes today... 

Still, the Master Builder is ever with us
crafting miracles of grace within our souls through what seems to be 
(based on all outward appearances) total destruction.
Yet, through it all God is providing a wake up call to so many of us who think so little of Him.

To the multitudes who have believed the lies that God does not exist...
through this tragedy, they are forced to consider the compelling evidence 
that centuries of believers
offered up all they had to create something they would never see finished in their life times...
Out of love.
For the many who do not believe 
they are presented with people risking their lives to save the Blessed Sacrament
and the ancient Crown of Thorns
that should not exist if Jesus did not
suffer and die for our sins. 
They are presented with hundreds praying and singing hymns in sorrow...

All of this, and so much more, points to God's goodness and mercy touching the hearts of countless souls...
And it is because of this, I am rejoicing that God is already bringing about 
a resurrection of faith, of prayer, of compassion and of turning toward God amid tragedy... 
These are His fingerprints 
These are signs of His Presence
Who is "The Resurrection and the Life"
Who alone can "make all things new!"
For while the Cross is considered foolishness to those who are perishing, it is the very wisdom and power of God!  1 Cor 1: 18

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise You, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world!

For more information about Notre Dame and how God using beauty to touch souls: 
Bishop Barron's teaching on the Rose Window of Notre Dame 
See also the history of Notre Dame:
© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Our Lady of Medjugorje: "Pray and Fast that God May Give You Peace" - Wisdom from Father Slavko

Prayer and Fasting for Peace
Help for fasting on this Friday of the fifth week of Lent

In the message of May 25, 2001, Our Lady says:
” … pray and fast that God may give you peace … “
Fr. Slavko Barbaric's book, Fast With the Heart, offers profound teachings on fasting and praying for peace.
Here are some of them:

Mary is the Queen of the Prophets
All the Prophets called for conversion, fasting and prayer as conditions for peace. She does not have any better or different means than those by which the Prophets called to peace, namely: conversion, prayer, fasting and firm faith.
In calling us to fast on two days a week, Mary remains in the tradition of her Israelite nation and reminds us of the multi-century tradition of the Eastern and the Western Church.
While the Second Vatican Council calls everyone to return to “the source”, we must admit that we have not discovered fasting but, instead, the opposite has happened. In the past decades, fasting has been reduced to the least possible measure – to two days a year: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
The apparitions in Medjugorje have not presented anything new nor have they revealed anything unknown. Instead, they help us accept what God asked for through the prophets – what Mary did and Jesus Himself has done.

In Biblical revelation, fasting is connected with the call to prayer and conversion
Prophets fasted before accepting their service as prophets and before special revelations. Individuals fasted in various circumstances of life – of joy, gratitude, sorrow and sinfulness. Even the entire nation fasted in preparation for certain feasts, to be saved from a catastrophe or to come out of a catastrophe once they had fallen into it.

(Fasting and Visions: Ex 34,27-28; Dt 9,9-11; Dn 10,1-8.
Lamentation of Sins: 1 Sm 7,3-6; 1 Kgs 21,20-29; Dn 9,3-5.
Fasting in a Time of Sorrow: 1 Sm 31,11-13; 2 Sm 1,11-12; 1 Chr 10,11-12.
Prayer and fasting for healing: 2 Sm 12,13-17.
Fasting and Inner Healing in an Experience of God: 1 Kgs 19,6-13.
Fasting and Danger of War: 2 Chr 20,2-4; Jdt 4,12-13; 1 Mc 3,44.47; 2 Mc 13,11-12; Jon 3,4-9. Prayer and Fasting for a Blessing and a Safe Journey: Ezr 8,21-23.
Fasting after Destruction of War: Neh 1,3-4.
Fasting after Returning to the True God: Neh 9,1-2.
Fasting, Prayer, Almsgiving and Righteousness: Tob 12,8.
Life-long Fasting out of Sorrow: Jdt 8,5-6; Lk 2,36-38.
Fasting in a Situation Endangering the people: Est 4,1-3.15-16,17k.
Fasting in Psalms: Ps 35,13; Ps 69,11-12; Ps 109,24-25; Sir 34,26.
The Meaning of Fasting – a New Relationship: Is 58,1-6; Jer 14,11-12; Zeh 7,4-5; Zeh 8,18-19. Fasting and Preparation for Listening to the Word of God: Jer 36,5-7.
Responding to the Word of God with Prayer and Fasting: Bar 1,3-6.
Fasting and Prayer as a Way out of a Common Sinful State: Jl 1,13-14; Jl 2,12-15;
Jesus’ Fast: Mt 4,1-11.
Jesus Speaks about Fasting: Mt 6,16-18; Lk 18,10-14; Mt 9,14-15; Mk 2,18-20; Lk 5,33-35.
Fasting and Prayer Strengthen Faith: Mt 17,20-21.
Fasting and Prayer Used Against Satan: Mk 9,25-29.
Fasting and Prayer Before Being sent to Serve: Acts 13,2-3; Acts 14,21-23.
St. Paul Fasts: 2 Cor 6,3-8; 2 Cor 11,25-28.) 
[An Idea for continued help: Keep this list handy and pray with and ponder one bible verse each fast day]

Fasting and Peace
Peace is a fruit of the Spirit.
The deepest longing of man´s heart is actually for peace. ... Clearly when good is being done, personal peace and the peace of others are being realized. On the other hand, when evil is being committed, it is a search for one´s own peace at the expense of the peace of others.
Looking at it from yet another perspective, we can see how often we lose peace because we are egotistical, selfish, envious, jealous, avaricious and consumed by power and honor. Experience confirms that through fasting and prayer, evil, egoism, and selfishness are overcome; the heart is opened and love and humility, generosity and goodness grow. Thus, true conditions for peace are realized. Whoever has peace because he loves and forgives also remains spiritually and physically healthy. He remains capable of shaping his own life in a manner worthy of man, who is the most exalted of God´s creatures. Through fasting and prayer, human needs are also diminished and brought to proportion. Also by this, conditions for peace along with a proper relationship with others and material things are being created.
This is why a misunderstanding comes about when fasting is experienced in a negative way, as a renunciation of something: namely, when its benefit is not recognized on the spiritual level. For this reason, it is not possible to speak about replacing fasting with good works or anything else. In this context, we can understand why peace is always promised after conversion and after fasting and prayer.
It is, therefore, through fasting that a person comes to understand what he must fight against in himself. In this way, our subconscious is also freed from everything that drives us to restlessness and disorder. The soul then becomes still and conditions for peace are realized. The following text beautifully presents an image of this battle:
“When a king wants to occupy a city of the enemy he first seizes the water source and stops every supply. When the inhabitants begin to die from hunger and thirst, they surrender to him. This is what it is like with physical cravings: when a religious comes against them with fasting and hunger, the enemies of the soul lose strength.”
Experience clearly confirms that without a battle against internal enemies of peace, it is not possible to come to peace. This is why fasting is a very tried and tested means. This is also why it is not accidental that all of the prophets, together with Jesus and then the entire Church tradition, have called man to fasting and prayer, so that he may open himself to true peace. The problem is that man is inclined to follow the way of false prophets who promise an easy peace that actually does not exist.

Fasting and Prayer
Fasting, prayer and good works are often mentioned together both by Jews and Christians. Prayer does not stand ahead of fasting, and good works independent of them, but as something that binds them from within. The most complete understanding of prayer is particularly offered in its connection with fasting. When we briefly look at what is said about prayer and how it is defined, we can see that the emphasis is naturally more on the state of the heart and soul and less on the body as a possible expression of prayer or of prayer generally.
The answer to the question, “What is prayer?” is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is the definition of St. Therese of the Child Jesus:
“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
It is also the definition of St. John Damascene:
“Prayer is the raising of one´s mind and heart to God or the requisition of good things from God.”
Primarily, the conversation with God as a spiritual activity is emphasized. However, there is also the practice and the experience that not only thoughts, conversation and spiritual acts on their own are included in prayer, but so is the body. Prayer becomes more complete by means of the body and the movement, which accompanies the words of prayer. The body and its movement support prayer making it more complete and expressive so that it may more easily encompass the entire person.
The unification of the body and soul in prayer are particularly manifested in fasting and prayer. The physical fast makes prayer more complete. A person who fasts prays better and a person, who prays, fasts more easily. In this way, prayer does not only remain an expression or words, but includes the entire human being. Physical fasting is an admission to God before men that one cannot do it alone and needs help. A person experiences his helplessness more easily when he fasts and that is why, by means of the physical fast, the soul is more open to God. Without fasting, our words of prayer remain without a true foundation. In the Old Testament the faithful fasted and prayed individually, in groups and in various life situations. Because of this, they always experienced God´s help. (Cf. Ezr 8,21-23; 2 Chr 20,12) Jesus ascribes a special power to fasting and prayer, especially in the battle against evil spirits (cf. Mk 9,29). The same practice is found in the tradition of the Catholic Church and is most evident in the rules of all orders and religious communities. St. Bernard wrote about the relationship between fasting and prayer saying:
“I will tell you something that you will understand easily and that you have often experiences, if I am not mistaken: fasting gives certainty to prayer and makes it fervent… By means of prayer, strength is gained for fasting and through fasting the grace of prayer. Fasting strengthens prayer and prayer strengthens fasting and offers it to the Lord.”
This is apparent because by means of fasting one becomes more awake and open to God and to what is spiritual. For the same reason, fasting is connected to the Eucharist. While a person practices renunciation and lives for a period of time with bread, he prepares himself for a meeting with the Divine Bread. This exceptional meeting with God, especially in connection with the Eucharist, is evidence of how fasting is positive in itself and how it enables us to realize the fundamental goal of prayer – the meeting of the entire person with God, the Savior.
In our time, Gandhi is known as a man who fasted and prayed. He said:
“My religion teaches me that in every affliction which cannot be alleviated, it is necessary to fast and pray.”
Although it is known that Gandhi fasted and prayed with political goals in mind, he deeply believed that only God could change the heart and man´s intentions through fasting and prayer. He believed that with fasting and prayer, man is purified within and frees himself from guilt, which, at the same time, is an expression of solidarity with those who suffer.
From the above, it must be concluded that fasting and prayer are inseparable just as man as a whole, comprised of the spirit, soul and body, is inseparable.

Cf: Fr. Slavko Barbaric: Fast With the Heart, Information Center „Mir” Medjugorje, 2000

First published on the Medjugorje official parish website, here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sister Emmanuel's Teaching and Fasting Bread Recipes to Help Us Live Our Lady of Medjugorje's Call to Fast

Help for fasting on this Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

I'm including a video teaching from Sister Emmanuel, who has lived in Medjugorje since the 1990s. She is an extremely wise teacher of Our Lady's messages and has compiled hundreds upon hundreds of miracle stories in her beautiful books on Medjugorje. 

May we gain insight from her teaching as we strive to "live the fast" and pray for each other today - knowing that fasting can conquer the demons that are attacking our families, our countries, our Church and our world. May this encourage and strengthen us to choose to fast today in love.
Our Mother, Queen of Peace, pray for us and thank you for being with us to help us and to lead us on this way of peace.

Notes from Sister Emmanuel's talk:
Of all of our Lady's messages, fasting is the most neglected...Why don't we fast?
It's difficult for us to do anything too costly.
Remember Jesus' teaching:
"This demon can only be cast out by prayer and fasting."
Is it more difficult to fast two days a week, or is it more difficult to repair the damage done by the demons who come against our families, our countries, etc?
We live in very serious times...many people are being lost in sin...
Those who have heard the message and know the power of fasting and don't do it, we are responsible. 
Feeling good should not be our goal...
But, rather our goal should be heaven.
For those who don't know who Sister Emmanuel is, her website shares this about her
"Sister Emmanuel tells that after receiving her first calling to the Beatitudes Community in 1976, she received another calling – to serve Our Lady in Medjugorje.  Sent by her community, she initiated the first branch of the community in Medjugorje in 1989.  During the Balkan war in the 90s, Sister Emmanuel became known for her regular faxes about the situation in Herzegovina, always related to the mission of Our Lady.  She has had an enormous impact on France, stimulating an extensive response to Medjugorje among French pilgrims, but her apostolate has broadened as her books have been translated into 22 languages and she has traveled widely to make Medjugorje known, particularly in the United States.  Today, “Les Enfants de Medjugorje” and “Children of Medjugorje, Inc.” allow her to be connected everyday to thousands of people around the world, who are motivated by and spreading, the messages of Our Lady in their own humble way.  Sister says that her greatest joy is to be part of a family formed by Our Lady, and being Her extended heart and hands for her children, especially those who do not yet know the love of God."
Sister suggests that we must fast on substantial bread. Here she offers multiple recipes below:

Medjugorje Fasting Bread Recipe
3 cups white flour
4 cups wheat flour
1 pkg. dry yeast - 1Tablespoon or 3 teaspoons of active yeast
½ cup of lukewarm water
2 cups of very hot water
1 beaten egg
1 Tablespoon of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of butter
1 cup of Raisins (or fresh apple cut up into small pieces)
1 cup of Almonds or walnuts
1 cup of Plain Oats

Blend flour in a large bowl.  Make a well in the flour.  After yeast dissolves in ½ cup lukewarm water (5-10 minutes), add to flour.  Mix flour over yeast mixture making soft balls.  Add salt, sugar butter, oil, raisins (or apple) and nuts, ½ beaten egg to 2 cups of hot water.  Pour over yeast.  (Continually add flour and water as needed) Knead the dough until it comes clean from the bowl.  Let it rise 10 minutes covered.  Knead again until it is has spring to it.  Place in well greased bowl preferable 70-80 degrees F until it is double in bulk.  Form into desired shapes.  Brush the top with remaining egg and sesame seeds, oats, or poppy seeds, if desired.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, until done and golden brown.  (Use the “wet knife” test) Makes 2 large or 3 medium loaves.  

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup hot water or as needed
1.     In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the olive oil and enough water to make a soft dough that is elastic but not sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth. Divide into 10 parts, or less if you want bigger breads. Roll each piece into a ball. Let rest for a few minutes.
2.     Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot, and grease lightly. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the balls of dough until very thin like a tortilla. When the pan starts smoking, put a chapati on it. Cook until the underside has brown spots, about 30 seconds, then flip and cook on the other side. Continue with remaining dough.

“A yeast raised East Indian flat bread with a delicious chewy texture.”

2 tablespoons warm water (110 degrees F
/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt, room temperature

4 tablespoons melted butter
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

1.     Put warm water in a small bowl, add sugar and yeast and stir until dissolved. Set     aside for 5-10 minutes or until it foams.
2.     Blend in the warm milk, yogurt and melted margarine. In a large bowl, mix flour,     salt, baking powder and poppy seeds. Pour in the yeast/milk mixture all at once     and work it into the flour, using your hands. Continue mixing, adding flour or     water as needed, until the mixture leaves the sides of the bowl.
3.     Knead for 6 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl     and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let stand in a warm place to rise for     about 4 hours or until doubled in volume.
4.     Preheat oven to 550 degrees F (285 degrees C) or your oven’s highest setting and     set a rack in the lower third of the oven. Place a large pizza pan or iron griddle on     the rack and preheat. Also preheat the broiler.
5.     Punch the dough down and knead briefly. Divide into six pieces and shape them     into balls. Place them on an oiled plate and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap.     Let balls rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Roll out and stretch each ball until it is about     10 inches long and 5 inches wide. Remove the pizza pan from the oven, brush     with oil and place one of pieces of bread on it.
6.     Bake at 550 degrees F (285 degrees C) for about 4 to 5 minutes until bread is     puffed and has brown spots, then transfer to a wire rack, returning pizza pan to     oven to keep hot. Place bread under broiler until ‘charcoal’ dots appear on the     surface. Wrap finished bread in a towel while baking the remaining loaves. (If     your pizza pan is big enough, try baking two loaves at the time.)

Indian Naan II (Exotic Ingredients)
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ghee
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons kalonji (onion seed)

1.     Whisk the warm water with the yeast and sugar until the yeast is dissolved. Cover     and let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes.
2.     Sift flour and salt three times into a large bowl add the yeast mixture, half of the     ghee and all the yogurt. Mix into a soft dough then knead on a floured surface for     about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large     greased bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours or until the     dough is doubled in size .
3.     Punch down dough then knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll     each piece out into 8 inch round naans.
4.     Cover an oven tray with foil and grease the foil. Brush the naan with a little of the     remaining ghee and sprinkle with some of the kalonji. Cook naan one at a time     under a very hot grill for about 2 minutes on each side or until puffed and just     browned.

Easy St. Phanourios Bread
Fasting (with oil)

Preheat oven to 350.
1. 1 cup sugar
2. 1 cup oil
3. 2 cups orange juice
4. 3/4 cup raisins
5. 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
6. 1 tsp. baking soda
7. 4 cups flour

Mix oil and sugar, and beat until it’s a creamy yellow. This may take a long time.
Put the baking soda IN the orange juice, and stir until dissolved. [NB: this can be spectacularly dramatic if you use a two cup measuring cup with two cups of o.j. in it. (Please don’t ask how I found out.) It might be easier to hold a two cup measuring cup OVER the bowl full of oil and sugar and pour in *one* cup of o.j., mix in 1/2 tsp. baking soda, watch the fireworks, pour it into the bowl, and again mix *one* cup of o.j. with 1/2 tsp. baking soda, stir and pour again. If you don’t dissolve the baking soda completely, you get lumps of it in the cake. So, stir well.]
Add the flour, then the raisins and nuts.
Pour the batter into an ungreased 9″x13″ pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes (or until a clean toothpick dipped in the cake emerges clean.)
I use a bundt pan instead of one 9″ x 13″, and my kids prefer this with chocolate chips in the place of the raisins and nuts. It doesn’t really need a frosting, but if you wanted to drizzle a stiff glaze made out of, say, powdered sugar and lemon juice and a little water over it, that would be okay, too.
If you wanted to put spices in the batter, I’d go with a tiny amount (1/4 tsp. or less) of ground cloves.

Combine the following whole grains:
* 2-1/2 cups hard red wheat
* 1-1/2 cups spelt or rye (Biblically spelt was used, Ezekiel 4:9)
* 1/2 cup barley (hulled barley)
* 1/4 cup millet
* 1/4 cup lentils (green preferred)
* 2 Tbs. great northern beans
* 2 Tbs. red kidney beans
* 2 Tbs. pinto beans

Stir the above ingredients very well.  Grind in flour mill.
(NOTE: all of these grains and beans can be ground in the GrainMaster Whisper
Mill with no problems).

Measure into large bowl or DLX:
* 4 cups lukewarm water
* 1 cup honey
* 1/2 cup oil

Add to liquids:
freshly milled flour from the above mixture of grains
* 2 tsp. salt
* 2 Tbs. yeast

Stir or knead until well kneaded about 10 minutes. This is a batter type bread and will not form a smooth ball.
Pour dough into greased pans. You may use 2 large loaf pans (10x5x3) or 3 med. loaf pans or 2-9×13 brownie pans. Let rise in a warm place for one hour or until the dough is almost to the top of the pan. If it rises too much it will over flow the pan while baking. Bake at 350o for 45-50 minutes for loaf pans and 35-40 minutes for brownie pans.
*For fasting divide bread into 8 equal parts weighing 1/2 pound each. Eat a 1/2 pound cake and drink a quart of water every day. For fasting I do not alter the recipe.
Beckers Bread and Roll recipe
This is a very sweet, moist, cake-like bread. For a more traditional bread texture I have used this combination of grains in The Beckers Bread and Roll recipe. Replacing the 7 cups of flour with the 9 cups of flour from the milled grains in this recipe. You may also add fruits and nuts or use the flour made from this mixture in other favorite recipes. This healthy combination of grains and beans is worth experimenting with. Combining grains and beans makes a complete protein.

Ingredients Convert Measures
* 1/2 c. rolled oats
* 3/4 c. boiling water
* 5 tbsp. butter
* 3 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 c. honey
* 3 c. 7 grain mix
* 3 tbsp. yeast
* 1/3 c. dry lowfat milk
* 2 c. hot water
* 1 c. gluten flour
* 3 to 4 c. white flour

1. You may grind 7 grain in a blender or possibly use as is. In small bowl, pour boiling water over oats. Add in butter, salt and honey. In large bowl, put 2 c. 7 grain mix, 1 c. gluten flour, 3 Tbsp. yeast and dry lowfat milk. Mix and add in oat mix plus 2 c. hot water. Add in remaining 1 c. 7 grain and mix. Add in sufficient white flour till dough loses stickiness. Knead 8 to 10 min. Place in greased bowl to rise. Divide into 2 loaves. Let rise. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 min. Makes 2 loaves.

© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Satan Wishes to Seduce as Many Souls as Possible but the One Who Fasts is Not Afraid of Evil

On this Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, I offer three of Our Lady's messages on fasting for us to ponder. May we reflect deeply on the power God gives to our sacrifices and prayers:

"The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature. Works of charity cannot replace fasting... Everyone except the sick, has to fast." (July 21, 1982)

"Dear children! Today also I invite you to prayer. Only by prayer and fasting can war be stopped. Therefore, my dear little children, pray and by your life give witness that you are mine and that you belong to me, because Satan wishes in these turbulent days to seduce as many souls as possible. Therefore, I invite you to decide for God and He will protect you and show you what you should do and which path to take. I invite all those who have said "yes" to me to renew their consecration to my Son Jesus and to His Heart and to me so we can take you more intensely as instruments of peace in this unpeaceful world. Medjugorje is a sign to all of you and a call to pray and live the days of grace that God is giving you. Therefore, dear children, accept the call to prayer with seriousness. I am with you and your suffering is also mine. Thank you for having responded to my call." April 25, 1992

"Dear children! Today I call you to renew prayer and fasting with even greater enthusiasm until prayer becomes a joy for you. Little children, the one who prays is not afraid of the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil. Once again, I repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear for the future. I am with you and am teaching you little children: your peace and hope are in God. That is why draw closer to God and put Him in the first place in your life. Thank you for having responded to my call." January 25, 2001

Mary's greatest desire is to bring us to God. So the call of fasting is not to just stop wars throughout the world, (although I'm sure she desires this), but the core of the message is the stop the wars that are being waged within us (for wars within our world are caused by people who are, first of all, at war within themselves). 

So, ultimately, Our Mother is calling us to pray and fast to stop the wars raging within our own bodies, hearts, minds and wills... How greatly she must desire to replace the wars of sin, greed, gluttony, selfishness, lust, hatred and disbelief that rage both inside and around us with the "peace that surpasses understanding" (Phil 4:7). 

But the only way to do this is to bring us to God, Who alone gives us this type of peace. 
He is able to give us this peace only when we draw close to Him through prayer and fasting. 
The more we fast and pray, 
the more we are drawn into a relationship of love with God. 
The more we pray, the closer we become to God. 
The more we sacrifice our wants, the stronger are wills become... which helps us choose God over the seductions of the Devil... 
and the more we choose God and are in relationship with God, 
the more we realize how deeply He loves us... 
and this understanding of God and His Love for us, transforms us so much that we begin to realize we have nothing to fear...

For no one and nothing is more powerful than God. Nor can anyone or anything love us or intimately care and provide for our needs more than He does.

Perhaps that is why Our Lady came to Medjugorje as the Queen of Peace - because in this noisy, distracted, evil and sinful world we have so little peace in ourselves and in our homes - let alone the world. So she comes to remind us the only way to peace is to draw near to God, Who is the source of peace and all fulfillment.

May we take Our Mother's call for us to fast and pray to heart this day -- and may we always pray for one another and Our Mother's intentions and plans to be realized, so that wars can be stopped and souls may be drawn closer to God, in Jesus' Name we pray. Amen. 

© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Vicka on Fasting: "If You Fast Out of Love it Will Not Be Difficult"

On this Wednesday of the 4th week of Lent, I'd like to share a video of radiantly smiling Vicka, one of the reported visionaries of Medjugorje, talking to pilgrims about fasting.

Here are notes from the video:

"Our Lady, when she speaks about fasting and recommends to us to fast twice a week on bread and water, she also added that all those who are sick do not have to fast on bread and water. On those days, they can give up something that is most dear to them.

For those people who are healthy and say they cannot fast on bread and water because they have problems with a headache or with various other problems, Our Lady says if you fast out of love for God or for her it will not be difficult. The only thing that's missing is their strong will to do it."

Today, we pray for ourselves and for each other -- asking for greater love and stronger wills to respond to Our Mother's call to fast this day
for peace, 
for conversion, 
for all those who do not yet know the love of God, 
for the sick and the dying, 
for families, 
for young people, 
for the suffering innocents,
for our priests, 
for our Pope and our Holy Church, 
and for all Jesus and Mary's intentions to be realized
and for their Triumph to come soon --
remembering that we are in a spiritual battle and that certain demons cannot be cast out except by prayer and fasting. This we pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.

© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved.