Join Us for a Nine Day Fast from September 29 through October 7, 2022
“Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Cor 9:23-27)
This month, I heard the above reading during daily Mass. It was read on the Feast of St. Peter Claver, September 9. As I attend a Church for daily Mass that is named after St. Peter Claver, they also had a vigil September 8 celebration to which I attended, so I heard the reading in the evening and the following day at Mass. The words that kept returning to me were, “Run so as to win.” Returning to re-read the passage the other words that resonated with me were, “exercise discipline.”
I remember during our monthlong trip to East Africa, I continually felt as though I was within a long fast. The days were long, and we had to travel great distances by car with little sleep. There was an opportunity to see more children at different locations at the expense of taking time to eat; the former always seemed the most appealing thing to do. The burden felt light since it was not foreign to me to say “no” to my body when I felt hungry or tired. This I learned through fasting. Indeed, we need spiritual training and discipline to accomplish all Our Lord needs from us. I have also heard it said that one can more completely give oneself in a Consecration when one has a practice of fasting. This is because one has a greater control over the body in which to fully give oneself to God. Whether or not one feels this to be true, it surely is a holy endeavor to learn discipline in order to more fully serve and glorify God.
It has been a yearly tradition within the Children’s Rosary to do nine days of prayer and fasting in the fall. This year it will begin on September 29 and end on October 7. We hope many will want to join us. Bread and water fasting is very effective as a means of sacrifice. Some may not be able to fast on bread and this is okay. Prayerfully discern what is the best fasting for you. In the past, we have had adults and children join this fast. We do ask that you prayerfully consider what is safe and reasonable for you and your family. Some may be able to do a traditional bread and water fast. This is unlimited bread and water. Others may find another thing in their life that would be a great sacrifice to give up for that period. One of the most important things when one begins a fast is the disposition. One must approach fasting as an act of love to God.
Some may want to do this fast but have not fasted before and wonder if they could complete the nine days. What I have found is that the first two days are the hardest. There is this portion of each of us which I will call, “self,” that will complain and nag that you should give up. Do not pay attention to this. In many ways the fast becomes easier as you go along and the last four days I have found to be the most sweet when one feels that with little effort one can enter into deep prayer.
Please accept this humble invitation to join these 9 days of fasting. It is an invitation to help to rid yourself of all the things holding you back spiritually. I will be praying for you. ~Blythe
The Fast will begin on September 29, the Feast of the Archangels and conclude on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7.
1) Pray one Rosary each day, meditating on the life of Christ
2) Fast for nine days
Source: Children’s Rosary