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Author Topic: Point of fasting for others, how does it help them?  (Read 1620 times) Average Rating: 0
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ninalea
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« on: January 25, 2010, 12:19:48 PM »

I understand the point of fasting for ourselves, that it is about discipline and subduing the flesh etc but I do not understand why some people fast for others. What good can it do A because B is fasting Huh
with many thanks
Nina
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010, 02:26:38 PM »


Hi ninalea,

Welcome to the forum!

While fasting IS good for the individual who is doing the fasting, it is also beneficial to others.
 
  28  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

  29  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
    Mark 9

It appears that our prayers have more substance when we fast and pray, versus just praying.  In the above example, Christ's disciples were apparently not able to rid the individual from the demonic possession.  However, when Christ succeeded in doing so and they inquired why they had failed in their own efforts, Christ informed them that these things can only be accomplished with fasting and prayer. 

This leads us to believe that if we not only pray, but fast, our prayers - for ourselves and others, "hold more water."  You sacrifice a bit on behalf of your neighbor.

Furthermore, sometimes if one fasts, the simple act encourages others to do so, as well.  Of course we should never boast of our own "fasting", however, if someone notices you reaching for the vegetable versus the steak and realizes why, it might help them to do the same.

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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2010, 03:48:53 PM »

I remember reading somewhere that the tradition of the Great Lent originated from the act of compassion of members of early Christian communities. Since the very first years of Christianity, there was a custom to baptize new converts on Pascha. Before their baptism, they had to fast. Other people in congregations, those who had already been baptized, decided that they should support the new members and fast, too.
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2010, 05:51:42 PM »

I remember reading somewhere that the tradition of the Great Lent originated from the act of compassion of members of early Christian communities. Since the very first years of Christianity, there was a custom to baptize new converts on Pascha. Before their baptism, they had to fast. Other people in congregations, those who had already been baptized, decided that they should support the new members and fast, too.

And it really does make a difference. My husband, a meat-and-potatoes guy who is tofu-phobic and never met a vegetable (except green beans and corn!) that he liked, says the thing that keeps him going through the fast is knowing that we're all in this together!
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"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
Tags: fasting asceticism Great Lent 
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