Prayer and Fasting

I hope everyone knows by now that Pope Francis has asked for today to be a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world.  This danger that the world is in - it feels as if everyone is holding their breath.  The threat and the danger for the world are honestly terrifying.  Perhaps, as a history major, I'm so closely connected with the history of the world that I fear more clearly than others.  It wasn't too long ago that I was reading and editing Dr. Warren Carroll's book The Crisis of Christendom.  The details of the World Wars and the crisis of totalitarianism are still vivid in my head.

Fear can be a crippling thing if you don't have any hope.

We have hope, though - we're Catholics, after all!  Even more, we have joy, a deeply abiding joy that undercuts all the fear the world can force upon us.

It is so encouraging to think about the great power that God deigns to bestow upon our human actions.  Prayer and fasting are purely human, yet He allows the Apostles to cast out devils by this offering of human acts.

My version of fasting today is a  little more tailored to what I can give up with a real effect.  I'm fasting with food, naturally, but I also decided to fast from sleep as well.  Contrary to my usual sleeping till 11 on Saturday and prying myself out of bed just in time for the second Mass of the day, I got up at 7 am for the first Mass.  I'm usually exhausted on the weekends and take every opportunity to nap, so I decided today that I would keep myself awake, focused and working all day.  There's a practical side to this - I have more time to get homework done - which means I'll have something else to offer up!  Communist Manifesto, anyone?

Our chaplaincy also arranged morning Eucharistic adoration today, so I made a holy forty-five minutes until my seasonal allergies became too disruptive.  So, it's back to homework and hopefully getting a head start on the billions of papers I have lined up.  Hopefully I've gotten to that mysterious point where I can churn out a 5-7 page paper with little difficulty...God willing!