His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed. Dan 7:14
Those who persecuted the Christians in the early days probably thought that killing the Christians might destroy Christianity or stop others from converting. But it actually had the opposite effect. The same could be said for what has happened in the Middle East. Muslims by the thousands, after seeing how their fellow Muslims treated Christians, have been converting to Christianity.
Christ’s dominion over our lives cannot be taken away. Others could take away our freedom, but they can’t take away our faith. They can take away our lives, but our eternal souls can remain faithful.
What does it take to remain faithful? What does it take to keep our faith amidst trials and tribulations?
Being faithful during easy times is, well, easy. But being faithful during difficult times is not so easy. Holding strong to one’s faith could mean being persecuted. It could mean suffering. Can you imagine how difficult it has been for Christians in the Middle East to lose their homes and possessions — and sometimes their lives — because of their faith?
Fasting is one of those spiritual practices that strengthens our faith. The self-denial of fasting helps us to become more selfless. Fasting invites the Holy Spirit into our hearts and souls.
When you are tempted to give up fasting, remember the many spiritual and physical benefits of fasting. Remember that with prayer and fasting, God can change our own hearts and change the hearts of others. With prayer and fasting, God can work miracles.
Today let us pray and fast for all the community intentions, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and for all Christians who are being persecuted for their faith.
Holy Mary, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!