The Fast: Ten Beneficial and Ten Harmful Things

Archpriest Andrei Efanov
14 June 2012

What is important for us to bear in mind during the fast?
The fast, by definition, is a time of abstinence. Therefore, let us strive to abstain from everything that is unprofitable for our souls:

1. Television. It seems to me that television is first on the list of unprofitable things. Television shows compel viewers to squander a part of their lives “for someone else.” There was a case of a mother who refused (more…)

On Keeping a True Fast by Archbishop Averky

posts-pic-archbishop-averkyThe lenten spring has shone forth; Let us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast.”

The majority of today’s Christians understand neither the cause for rejoicing, nor the meaning of a true fast. Many, very many people of this day and age regard the essence of the fast to consist solely in the prohibition of certain foods: meat, milk, cheese, eggs; and they do not understand the purpose of such a prohibition. Some who enjoy eating go so far as to become indignant at the Church for having established this tradition. “There is no reason for it; it’s unnecessary,” they say. “It makes no difference what you eat. ” And in practice they ignore the fast and make no effort to keep it. It is rare nowadays to find anyone who rejoices (more…)

St. Theophan the Recluse on Prayer and Fasting

posts-icon-st-theophan-the-recluse“This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” [Matthew 17:14-23]

If this kind goes out by the prayer and fasting of another person, then it is even less able to enter one who fasts and prays.

What protection!

Although there are a slew of demons and all the air is packed (more…)

St. John Chrysostom on Fasting

Icon of St. John ChrysostomFor the value of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices; since he who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meats, is one who especially disparages it. Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works! Is it said by what kind of works? If you see a poor man, take pity on him! If you see in enemy, be reconciled to him! If you see a friend gaining honour, envy him not! If you see a handsome woman, pass her by! For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being pure from rapine and avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing from running to the unlawful spectacles. Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves rudely upon handsome countenances, or to busy themselves (more…)