St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Prayer and Fasting

Fr Barr just got back from the pilgrimage. The intentions were prayed over at Mass and given to Our Lady. Here a few comments from Fr Barr.

One of the most profound reminders was the necessity of prayer in our lives. How often do we actually pray? Do we pray when we get up? Our morning prayers are a great way to give Jesus and Mary our whole day. This is where we should pray our daily consecration. How about the angelus? we shoul be praying this prayer many times every day; at 6am, 9am, 12noon, 3pm, 6pm and 9pm. The divine mercy chaplet can be prayed at 3pm, the hour of mercy, every day. 3pm is the same time that Jesus died on the cross for us. We should be praying at least five decades of the rosary every day. Many good families pray this in late evening before going to bed. It is a great way to prepare for sleep so we can get sweet dreams, and not the other kind. Before we go to bed we should be meditating on an examination od conscience and praying the Guardian Angel prayer with maybe the St Michael prayer.

You can’t forget the very thing that raises our prayers to new heights, fasting. Fasting has many benefits. We gain self control and peace becomes more pronounced. It calls on God for grace. We become spiritually stronger when we fast. We can endure suffering better. Some things take more than prayer to deal with. Some things require fasting. But we should make sure we have an intention. There are plenty of things to fast for; religious liberty, the end of abortion, souls in purgatory, receiving any sacrament, for a loved one, for yourself, for purity, or for safety just to name a few. Nobody is too old or too young to fast. You might want to start with not putting the butter on the potatoes, then work yourself to not eating meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you are daring enough, you can start doing bread and water fasts on Wednesday and Fridays. Of course. make sure none of the fasting would be detrimental to your health. If fasting from foods would be detrimental to you health, then start fasting from TV, computers, video games or  music. These challenges bring us closer to Jesus. I hope you take up this challenge and grow from it. This is a good web site to check out if you may be called to fast; http://livethefast.com/.

Pictures from the pilgrimage to be posted in the future.

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