Author Topic: What is fasting?  (Read 1720 times)

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Offline Christianus

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What is fasting?
« on: February 02, 2010, 07:46:52 AM »
What is fasting?
How is it done?
Is it true that you don't eat anything during fasting?
And how could you fast for 40 days without eating?
so what is fasting basically?

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 08:17:14 AM »
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline Heorhij

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 08:48:05 AM »
Fasting is a part of "askesis" - spiritual training. We fast, i.e. abstain from something that is lawful and pleasurable, in order to learn how to love. Love is always about self-denial and self-sacrifice. Fasting is training in self-denial and self-sacrifice.

Most fasts in the Orthodox Church are partial fasts. We do not abstain from all food and drink, but from certain foods. During strict fasts, we do not eat meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and oil, and we do not drink wine. During other fasts, we abstain only from meat, or from meat and dairy, or from meat and fish.

Fasting is not the same as dieting. The meaning of any fast is not to improve one's health, but to train in self-denial. Abstaining from behavior that can harm our neighbor is a more important part of any fast than abstaining from certain foods. There is a saying that if you do not eat meat but mistreat your family or gossip about your neighbors, you actually do not fast.

Complete fasts in the Orthodox Church are short: from midnight till Eucharist on the Divine Liturgy; the Nativity Eve till sundown; the Great and Holy Saturday (day before Easter). 
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 10:49:18 AM »
Fasting is a form of kenosis, "emptying," to join with Christ Who fasted from the glory of His divinity so that He could share it with us (Phillippians 2, which is why fasting is always joined with almsgiving).  The first Adam fell because he would not fast: listening to the serpent, he gorged himself so that he "might be like God."
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Thomas

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2010, 11:19:02 AM »
Yes we eat during a fasting period, we eat vegetables, legumes (beans) rice, and other grains along with some shell fish allowed.

Here is the short answer my pastor gives: "The Church calls on all of us to go without meat, most kinds of fish, dairy products, oil, wine, and hard liquor.Pregnant women, nursing mothers,and growing children should not tryto keep the full fast, and, if you take any medication, then you should follow your physician’s recommendations. However, most of us can keep the full fast, and all of us can keep
the fast is some way, shape, or form. So, be sure and check with your spiritual father before Great Lent begins so that you can get his blessing for the fast." The Voice Newsletter, St John the Forerunner Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cedar Park Texas February 2010.

When in doubt discuss your concerns with your pastor or spiritual father.

Thomas
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 11:19:16 AM by Thomas »
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Offline GammaRay

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2010, 11:35:19 AM »
"If, while fasting, you abstain only from food, then you are not truly fasting."
~St. Athanasius

A question. What happens if you fast from everything else except food?

(food = the food mentioned above, not all kinds of food)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 11:35:58 AM by GammaRay »
Though I've walked the valley of the shadow of the death, I've fallen not. Not completely. Not yet.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2010, 12:22:27 PM »
"If, while fasting, you abstain only from food, then you are not truly fasting."
~St. Athanasius

A question. What happens if you fast from everything else except food?

(food = the food mentioned above, not all kinds of food)

Our priest recommends that we fast from television, movies, etc. (entertainment), as well as try to read only spiritual books. That's a lot harder than it sounds, believe me. It's surprisingly difficult to turn off the tv - more difficult than not eating cheeseburgers (and I really loves my cheeseburgers!)
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Online Justin Kissel

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 01:22:22 PM »
Quote
A question. What happens if you fast from everything else except food?

You die from asphyxiation? :angel:

Offline Get_Behind_Me_Satan

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2010, 10:32:34 PM »
“The testimonies of the western teachers I neither recognize or accept. I surmise that they are corrupted.
There can be no compromise in matters of the Orthodox Faith.”

St Mark Of Ephesus, Doctor of the church. (True Church)

Down with ecumenism!

Offline GammaRay

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2010, 08:18:21 AM »
Katherineofdixie, now that you mentioned it, a theologian I've heard of was obsessed with candies, so he was abstaining from them during the Great Lent and, on Pascha, instead of a lamb, he bought himself lots of candies. :D
Though I've walked the valley of the shadow of the death, I've fallen not. Not completely. Not yet.

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: What is fasting?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2010, 05:29:22 PM »
Fasting is a part of "askesis" - spiritual training. We fast, i.e. abstain from something that is lawful and pleasurable, in order to learn how to love. Love is always about self-denial and self-sacrifice. Fasting is training in self-denial and self-sacrifice.

   I got a question, the tone of Orthodox when it comes to fasting seems different than Catholicism or other Christian group.  I've heard of Catholics talk about fasting like it's a kind of atonement (same thing with suffering, "offering it up to God", they also tend to connect it more with Christ's suffering too, seeing a mystical union).   That just sounded more like something I could relate to than the idea of "askesis" that you are excercising something (since that's literally what askesis means).  I have found every time I think of it as excercise, with a "goal" that's self-directed, I'm missing something.  I honestly understand the concept of sacrifice or atonement moreso than this idea that just deniel somehow leads to spirituality (denial to me is strictly negative, whereas sacrifice seems positive, its for something).

 It's my understanding that's how Jews think of fasting too, as an atonement for sins or act of purification, having talked to a few about it.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 05:32:37 PM by Daedelus1138 »