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Author Topic: How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?  (Read 11419 times) Average Rating: 0
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Heorhij
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« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2008, 03:30:16 PM »

The fast is not a commandment, like "You shall not steal." Breaking it does not damage our soul. Keeping the fast is important because it helps the soul overcome the body. The body needs to be kept in check so that it does not lead to sin, and the fast helps this. But we don't fast for ourselves, and we don't eat for ourselves. We feed the body what it needs and no more, so as to control it, to prevent the body from controlling us. However, if by our eating or fasting we offend someone else, we have sinned. As St. Paul put it, "Whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus."

So breaking the fast because we are giving in to the body's wants can make it more difficult to control the body, but it's not a sin. Indeed, breaking the fast because we want to maintain a relationship with the people God has placed in our lives can be beneficial and may even bring them toward Christ. Now, if the people cooking Thanksgiving are aware of the fast and want to cook a lobster for you, please let them. If they are unaware and cook a turkey, please eat the turkey. Breaking a fast is preferable by far to breaking a relationship.

That's pretty much how I understand it, too.
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« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2008, 03:34:33 PM »

I've noticed that sometimes Orthodox can get extremely legalistic about the fasting rules. A guy from my former church has no respect for the Orthodox Church, because of an experience he had working with some OO guys. He said how they constantly made a big deal to him about the fast and yet they cursed and swore and lived rather immoral lives, which, he felt totally negated all their efforts to impress him with their stringent fasting rules. Let's remember that people are looking to us and our lives more than we may think.

I agree that if one curses, swears, yells at people, hurts people in various ways - this person is thus NOT fasting, no matter what that person eats or does not eat. Any fast is necessarily abstinence from deliberate sin. Dietary rules come a distant second.Smiley

I can't recall the name... one Russian priest once got tired of a woman who wanted to know in all the minute details, just what she can and cannot eat during fast, and said, "ah, you know, eat anything... just don't eat people." ("Всe eшь, людeй нe eшь.") Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2008, 04:03:50 PM »

Some years the Nativity Fast starts before Thanksgiving even on the Old Calendar, and that is a good time to have a fish feast or go with Tofurky!

I'm vegetarian year round so it's always tofurkey for me. Love the stuff!
EEEEUWWWW!!! Tongue  You just love to torture yourself, don't you?
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Bogoliubtsy
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« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2008, 04:32:01 PM »

Some years the Nativity Fast starts before Thanksgiving even on the Old Calendar, and that is a good time to have a fish feast or go with Tofurky!

I'm vegetarian year round so it's always tofurkey for me. Love the stuff!
EEEEUWWWW!!! Tongue  You just love to torture yourself, don't you?

That's why I post here.  Wink
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 04:40:49 PM by Bogoliubtsy » Logged

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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2008, 05:16:08 PM »

The fast is not a commandment, like "You shall not steal." Breaking it does not damage our soul.
I think those are two different issues.
Indeed, we cannot say that following commandments will prevent us from sinning, but breaking commandments is sinning. Fasting is different, though. It is not a command, but it is good advice. We are free to follow it or not: if we follow the fast--the spirit more than the letter--then we will become more Christ-like. If we do not, we miss that opportunity. But never is the fast given the weight of a commandment; never is breaking the fast called a sin.

Now, if the people cooking Thanksgiving are aware of the fast and want to cook a lobster for you, please let them. If they are unaware and cook a turkey, please eat the turkey. Breaking a fast is preferable by far to breaking a relationship.

I understand what you're saying, and I appreciate it.  My concern, however, has nothing at all to do with social events and eating what is provided.  My concern is, instead, with lack of clear pastoral guidance.
Well, I'm sorry, but to get the sort of top-down, one-size-fits-all pastoral guidance you want, you're going to have to become a Catholic.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 05:18:40 PM by ytterbiumanalyst » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2008, 09:34:02 AM »

Sadly too often we are so focused upon these easiest aspect of a fasting period in the Church, the food that we eat, we usually forget the other two componets of the fasting periods---prayer and almsgiving.  The Church fathers have noted that fasting is fruitless without  accompanying it with  prayer and almsgiving. Sadly my observance of those who become the "fasting police" is that they often are too busy policing those who don't fast correctly that they fail in the other two areas.

Thomas
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 09:34:38 AM by Thomas » Logged

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