If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “Suffering is but a kiss from Jesus.” When we are close to God, sometimes it seems like everything is going well. Most of the time, however, it may seem like everything is going badly. Being close to God doesn’t automatically ensure that things will always go our way. In fact, we are more likely to experience sufferings and sacrifices when we are close to God because suffering brings us closer to Him.
For example, we may pray that God will provide for us financially and then experience the worst financial setback we have ever had. We may feel like God has forgotten us, but He hasn’t. None of us can begin to know the mind of God, but we can, in our faith, believe that He allows difficulties to happen because He knows something good will always come from them.
When we fast, we practice self-denial and sacrifice. Fasting helps us to increase in virtue, so that when we do experience the difficulties and challenges in our lives, we will be able to embrace them and see good in them.
Prosperity doesn’t always mean that we will be rich in material goods. But it does mean that we can always be rich in spiritual gifts. When we fast, we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts and souls. Fasting helps us to be more empathetic to the plight of the poor and perpetually hungry. Fasting helps us to focus on the prosperity and relationships and all the spiritual gifts we have rather than the material items we don’t have.
Today, during this second week of Advent, let us pray and fast for all the community intentions, for spiritual prosperity and for all the sick, elderly and lonely.
Holy Mary, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!