About the Author
Fr Slavko Barbarić, OFM, was born near Medjugorje in 1946. He was ordained a priest in 1971. He studied philosophy and pastoral theology in Sarajevo and Schwaz (Austria) and obtained his master’s degree in 1973 in Graz, Austria. He gained his doctorate in religious education in 1982 in Freiburg, Germany.
Fr Slavko began working with the pilgrims in Medjugorje in January 1982. He conducted numerous retreats and tirelessly spoke about the events of Medjugorje all over the world. He wrote many articles for various publications and is the author of many books on the spirituality of Medjugorje. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Fr Slavko died on November 24, 2000, at 3.30 PM, on Mount Križevac (Cross Mountain) in Medjugorje, after having prayed the Stations of the Cross with the parishioners.
About This Book
In one of the early messages at Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary reportedly said that we have forgotten the value of fasting. She reminded us that wars and natural disasters can be prevented by prayer and fasting. Our Lady said that many people have substituted almsgiving for fasting. By excluding fasting from our daily life, we are excluding an important element for growth in holiness which cannot otherwise be gained.
We are all called to fast, even the elderly, the sick, and the young. However, not all are called to fast in the same way. We should seek God, ask His direction and then follow the impulses we sense coming from Him. Some persons may be urged to fast on bread and water (the “best” fast according to Mary), others may be called to give up smoking, alcohol, or television. Others may follow the Church’s regulation for fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday which states that “a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal”.
Fasting is not always “not eating”. Some may do penance by eating what they don’t like, or not speaking the sharp remark to a fellow worker or friend. Whatever we are called upon to do, we ought to fast with the same vigour and enthusiasm as we respond to Mary’s call to deeper prayer. The important dimension is that we begin to fast and to allow God to use the fasting to move us forward on our way of holiness. As we go deeper and deeper into the path God has laid out for us, we will also change our way of fasting, ultimately, perhaps, reaching the “best” fast, as explained by the Mother of God.
During Lent 1988, Mary reportedly told the pilgrims gathered on Apparition Hill that she was pleased with their fast and their Lenten penances, but she would be even more pleased, if they would fast from sin. Mary is our Mother, our model, and our teacher. Through the messages at Medjugorje, Mary is educating us along the way of holiness and inviting us to be converted to her Son, Jesus Christ. Mother that she is, she desires each of us to become holy and to grow in God’s love. Fasting is an important dimension in this growth. (Sister Isabel Bettwy)
The Author Speaks
My purpose in writing this booklet is to encourage you to fast. At the end of this booklet, I would like to say to you, “Begin to fast!”, and I hope you will respond, “I will”.
I pray that, through fasting, you will discover all the treasures that God has put inside you and that through fasting your longing for God will grow within you from day to day. I pray that through fasting you will discover the God of love, of hope, of faith, and of peace, and that through fasting you will also meet fellow travellers, and that you will meet them in love, in peace, in trust and in hope.
Through fasting, you will receive the strength to overcome the evil that is within you, because fasting should serve that cause also. And so, as we begin, may Almighty God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – bless you through the intercession of Mary, the Queen of Peace. Amen.
Fasting Is Necessary
Our Lady Wants To Re-Educate Us
Why Fast On Bread And Water?
There Is No Substitute for Fasting
Fasting and Prayer, a Process of Purification
Fasting With the Heart
Fasting in Our Lady’s Messages
This book was originally published in 1988 by Franciscan University Press, Steubenville, OH, USA
Author: Fr Slavko Barbarić
Review: Lidija Paris and Fr Leon Pereira O.P.
Edited in 2019
Size: 195 x 120