1st Discourse on Fasting [5]

1st Discourse on Fasting [5]

Saint Basil the Great   Fasting in the Old Testament But let’s tie our words to history, examining the antiquity of the fast. It was passed down as a paternal bequest and thus preserved, from one generation to the next, until it came down to us, as our own possession....

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1st Discourse on Fasting [4]

1st Discourse on Fasting [4]

Saint Basil the Great   Through fasting we return to paradise 4. Because we didn’t fast, we left paradise. Let us fast, then, so that we can return to it. Look at Lazarus, who entered paradise through fasting (Luke 16, 20-31). Don’t imitate Eve’s disobedience, don’t accept the serpent again...

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1st Discourse on Fasting [3]

1st Discourse on Fasting [3]

Saint Basil the Great   Do you think I derive its antiquity from the Law? Fasting is older than the Law. Just be patient and you’ll see the truth of this. Fasting was the first commandment of God in paradise. When Adam and Eve broke it, it marked the fall...

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1st Discourse on Fasting [2]

1st Discourse on Fasting [2]

Saint Basil the Great   We should fast without hypocrisy and cleanse the soul from sins. ‘Pour oil on your head and wash your face’ (Matth. 6, 17). This saying is inviting you into sacramental rituals. If you pour oil on your head, you’re anointed; if you wash, you’re made...

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1st Discourse on Fasting [1]

1st Discourse on Fasting [1]

Saint Basil the Great   Fasting is a prophetic command ‘Sound the trumpet on the day of the new moon, in the glorious day of your feast’. (Ps. 80, 3). This is a prophetic ordinance. For us, the readings (Is. 58, 4-6) resound louder than the trumpet and any other...

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Asceticism or Pleasure?

Asceticism or Pleasure?

If I was to ask any Christian what is more detrimental to your spiritual life, asceticism or pleasure, I think the answer would be asceticism. Pleasure is good, it is what God wants for us, right…? Let us look at two examples from the Bible, the first is Solomon, who...

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The Challenge of Fasting in the Modern World

The Challenge of Fasting in the Modern World

We’re most of the way through our Lenten journey! Pascha is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. I love the reverence of Holy Week services. I love the buildup to the Resurrection. I love that it takes place in Spring (the best of all the seasons). The process of preparing,...

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Fasting and its Benefits (3)

Fasting and its Benefits (3)

Saint John of the Ladder   1. As we’re now going to speak of the stomach, we’ve decided again- as with all our themes- to turn our philosophy against ourselves. Because I wonder if anyone has ever been free of it before residing in the grave. 2. Gluttony is hypocrisy...

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Fasting and its benefits (2)

Fasting and its benefits (2)

Who is as strong as a lion, but, for the sake of his stomach falls into a trap and the whole of his strength is brought low? When the fathers in Skete ate bread and salt, they used to say: ‘Let’s not be beholden to bread and salt’. In this...

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The Fast and its Benefits (1)

The Fast and its Benefits (1)

Let us observe an acceptable fast, pleasing to the Lord. A true fast: estrangement from evil, restraint of the tongue, control of anger, abstention from desires, slander, falsehood and perjury. If there is a paucity of these, then our fast is true and acceptable. Apostikho, Vespers, Monday in 1st week...

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