In the Old Testament and in the New Testament, there are many examples of fasting. Jesus fasted frequently. According to Tradition, fasting is encouraged especially in times of great temptation or severe trials. Certain devils, "can be cast out in no other way except by prayer and fasting", said Jesus. (Mark 9:29)
Fasting is essential in order to achieve spiritual freedom. Through fasting, one is better able to listen to God and man and to perceive them more clearly. If, through fasting, we achieve that freedom, we will be more aware of many things. Once we are aware that we can enjoy the necessities of life without struggle, then many fears and worries fade away. We become more open to our families and to the people with whom we live and work. Our Lady recommends fasting twice a week: "Fast strictly on Wednesdays and Fridays." (August 14, 1984)
"The best fast is on bread and water. Through fasting and prayer one can stop wars, one can suspend the natural laws of nature. Works of charity cannot replace fasting... Everyone except the sick, has to fast." (July 21, 1982)
Fasting takes personal discipline. Start slow, and work your way up to bread and water only. Fasting means that we give up something that we like and offer that sacrifice to God. One can give up sweets, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, television, etc. But, Our Lady stresses that the best and most powerful fast is on bread and water for a 24 hour period from midnight to midnight. Great graces come from fasting and it can help with situations in your life that seem hopeless. Fr. Slavko always used to be asked how much bread and water one should eat and drink on fast days. His answer was very simple, "as much as you need". The amount and frequency are not really important, but rather our intention to fast out of love for God.