Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Monday 14 June 2010

Prayer and Fasting…You Never Know…

A good friend of mine saw the leaflet for the last National Day of Prayer and Fasting on a table at my place, and was intrigued by its message that prayer and fasting could be efficacious in stopping abortion. She is not a practising Catholic, but prays to Jesus. My friend is not directly involved in pro-life work and was enthused that fasting was something she could do for the pro-life movement, so she decided to fast from all food for 36 hours.

On the day of the fast, she went to work as usual, and as it happened there were boxes of chocolate galore in the staff room. Many times, she had to refuse a tray of luxury chocolates, and explain that she was fasting. Many faces with corrugated brows asked, what’s fasting? Why was she doing it? She explained that she was fasting for a decrease in the number of abortions. She went out with a group of friends for lunch in a fancy restaurant, and while everyone else ate delicious, steaming plates of food, she quietly said that she was fasting. Some were perplexed as to why she was fasting for pro-life, ‘there can’t be that many abortions every day’ one friend commented. She answered that there are over 600 abortions in England and Wales every day, and that while she had been pro-abortion, she now believed that many people would be here with us, but that their lives were cut short by abortion.
She found it a mortifying experience that so many at work were whispering about her fasting, it wasn’t as if she was parading her fasting, but it had become a discussion piece. A bigger test came later when she went out for dinner with her militantly anti-Catholic, Richard Dawkins following boyfriend. He ate his starter while she sipped water and when he was ordering his main course, he asked, ‘are you on a diet?’ She shook her head and said that she was fasting for the success of pro-life work in London. He practically gagged on his food. He wasn’t encouraging; ‘nothing will come out of that. You’re wasting your time. I thought we were going to have a posh meal together.’
‘That’s the point. I’m giving up the posh meal; it’s a sacrifice.’
‘Sacrifices are useless’ he said.
‘Not if they are for people you love.’
‘Who are they?’
‘Jesus and His creations.’
‘But why fast?’
‘We fast to make up for the wrong of abortion, that Jesus will give grace in return for our sacrifice, and that the grace will go towards stopping abortion.’
Had I not been a friend of hers, I would not have known that she had met so many people and had been a good example of someone who was praying and fasting. We may not see in this life how her sacrifice appeased Almighty God, but her fast showed many people the importance with which she holds making sacrifices to God.

Mary O'Regan

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