Joy Battista

"Joy Battista" stands for the Joy of John the Baptist at the presence of Christ.

"And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy." Luke 1:43-44

This blog is dedicated to all who seek the Joy of Christ's presence in their own lives.
This blog is also dedicated to the unborn, for John the Baptist was an unborn when he leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus who was also unborn at the time.


Monday, March 7, 2011

"Do You Wish Your Prayer to Fly to God?"

“Do you wish your prayer to fly to God? Give it two wings: fasting and almsgiving.” St. Augustine

Ash Wednesday begins lent this week and so I decided to dig out a story poetically written to show the real and effective power of fasting. This came to me through the long drawn out experience I had mothering a child with cancer.

Sacrificial Love.

It seemed so abstract.
Why in the world did I have to fast?
The Church has told me,
“Do it certain times of the year,
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday for sure.”

Such a challenge to me… why is it necessary?
Just offer it up, was what they would say,
like Christ did for forty days.
But I never understood the results of my efforts
until I did it for my child who suffered.

She was so incredibly brave.
She never had a choice but to behave
in order for her life to be saved.
She always did all that was asked
and soooooooo many times she had to fast.

She was stuck with hundreds of long thin needles.
Through her muscles and spine and veins went the chemos.
Whenever the doctors went in to the spine
she wasn’t allowed food or drink of any kind.
This was necessary to prevent a stomach ache
and most days she had to wait and wait.

Each time she went through these spine procedures
She was administered medicine to always keep her
perfectly still, all asleep.
This kind of a life I didn’t want to keep.
I agonized, I worried and I was pained
throughout all of these seemingly endless days.

But she stayed incredibly brave.
She never had a choice but to behave
in order that her life could be saved.

I supported her with all of my soul.
I wanted to watch her grow to be old.
But more importantly
I had to help her through what was happening
moment by moment and day to day.
At her side is where I stayed.

And when she was put to sleep for the second to last time
I really understood something I did which was kind.
Not only was it kind but I did it every time
to help her feel better in both body and mind.

It was to abstain from drink or food.
To support her, sustain her, I did too.
And so I wondered aloud one day, the second to last,
“Dear child does it really help you?” I asked.
She affirmed me so sure,
“Yes mom it helps me feel better.”
To me, these were words from God
that all my fasting helped her be strong.
It also confirmed my abundant faith.
There really is power to sacrifice in this way.

And the power goes beyond this child.
The world can be changed when we go the extra mile
Of offering ourselves up for others.
We’ll help the Lord save our sisters and brothers.
And when we sacrifice like Him willingly
we’ll be blessed with God’s love for all eternity.

Jesus mentions fasting in connection to the healing of a possessed boy. When His disciples asked Him why He was able to cast out the demon but they could not, he replied: “This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:28 ( This is a passage from the Book on Fasting, A positive Approach by Mark Neilsen.)

I hope you have a joyous Ash Wednesday and a happy lent praying and fasting and almsgiving for others!

No comments: