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Fasting during Thanksgiving


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#41 Father David Moser

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 07:42 PM

When our dear friends who had invited us over for Thanksgiving, started packing food for us to take with,


That's why God made freezers...

Fr David Moser

#42 Nina

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 07:55 PM

That's why God made freezers...
Fr David Moser


First, I do not like to freeze cooked food for more than a month because I like fresh food. Second, I do not have a large freezer. Third, I will not be near my freezer for Christmas. Fourth, why should all that food sit in my freezer when someone else can consume it? It is like what St. Chrysostom said: "The coat that sits in your closet belongs to the poor."

I thought to find someone to give the food to, but after I had so much difficulty distributing the koliva for my mom's soul one time (not-Sunday) I changed my mind, since many people here are skeptical when a stranger offers them food - and with a good reason.

#43 Nicolaj

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:38 PM

Nicolaj... You're a very judgemental person........ quick to judge people about things you don't understand.

Learn how not to judge..... after that you can talk to people about how they should fast.

--tim


Dear Brethren!

I am not judging anybody! Read my posts carefully, and you see that I write with great concerns about my brethren here at Monachos. So this was not judging at all. This words are shared to edification among brethren!

The Church is not only a building in the city where we go to attend the services, it is also the living Body of Christ to whom we all belong. And all concern for one another!

And as being a part of this body it is my duty to help clarify where I think a word is needed and I can provide one word or two. I don't think being wise or multiple intelligent. I am a sinner!


And please tell me, Tim, how it is possible for you not to judge! I have read Fathers who have lived a life of holiness and still were seduced with the sin of judging. But as you have find the way not to judge, you will tell me to become more like you, please!?

about things you don't understand.


You are so right dear Tim, I don't understand anything.. Please tell me more about the right fasting!

I made my experiences about fasting myself according to the teachings of the church and with the help of my Father, who is very strict to me about how to keep the fast. He made me clear that it is very very important in my battle against the demons who come to tempt me to have this mighty weapon of the fast.

I could tell you more about this, but as I read from your post you already might know enough about these things!

Christos voskrese! Nicolaj, the first among sinners!

#44 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:20 PM

I sense that there is some misunderstanding about fasting within the Church as if it was a law against eating unclean food.

For us fasting, even though certain rich foods can contribute to the increase in passions, is not refraining from food unclean in itself. For all things are created clean as Scripture informs us (see Acts). What is important here is that we understand that fasting is given us so that we might learn self-restraint and an ascetic way of life but of a particular kind.

This self-restraint is meant to be of a particular nature encouraged by fasting which for us is according to the liturgical calendar with its continually changing rhythms and patterns. In essence this rhythmic pattern of fasting as a reflection of the liturgical cycle of the year teaches us to place discernment above all else. In other words the connection between fasting & the liturgical calendar shows us that fasting is always meant to be applied to the circumstances at hand rather than seen as a discipline for itself.

This indeed is its essential lesson; not only self-restraint, but rather self-restraint of a particular kind relating this always to the situation at hand so that it becomes a true work of love and not something done only for itself. Indeed each liturgical day is certainly perfect in itself as an expression of the Kingdom. But yet each is different showing us the great variations within the Kingdom and which we are called to open ourselves up to to day by day and moment by moment. And this is why we do & must fast differently.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#45 Rick H.

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:37 PM



Dear Brethren!


I am not judging anybody! Read my posts carefully, and you see that I write with great concerns about my brethren here at Monachos. So this was not judging at all. This words are shared to edification among brethren!




Dear Nicolaj,



I see this sincerity in your writing, and I appreciate your zeal for the Church.


As far as the subject of judgmentalism goes, I think this is a big part of this thread as there seems to be an effort to find a consensus on this matter of who eats and who does not eat on Thanksgiving. Ultimately though, I really think it is a matter of the heart for the individual in his unique relationship with Christ. There is no one right answer here, as Father Raphael says above, we have to look at the situation at hand (viz. ourselves and others). It is a futile exercise to search for the one right answer: to eat or not to eat? So, I think my last post in this thread will be made in the form of a poem that I wrote once during a time when I was very angry and judgmental (even though I thought I was seeing things correctly). There is an appeal to the mind here; but, there is also a great appeal to the heart here as well--especially for the one who finds himself in the seat of the belligerent and confused:





The Plague in The Polis:
"On the Location and Instrumentality of Anti-Philosophy"



Gluttonous gathers and guardians in the republic,

the ultimate suspension of truth.



Judgmentalism reviling and resisting judgement,

the non-systematic mocker abounds.



Chaos diligently demanding conformity,

Socratic students unaware.



Obtuse implements suspended by arrogant stupor,

the plague in the polis beware!




In Christ,


Rick



#46 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:48 PM

There is no one right answer here, as Father Raphael says above, we have to look at the situation at hand (viz. ourselves and others).



As this is written in relation what I wrote I want to say that I mean precisely that there is a 'right answer' as to how to fast but according to the situation at hand.

What I mean is not something at all spontaneous or 'free' in this regard. Rather my point is that self-restraint for us as Orthodox Christians is always measured by dying to oneself within the context of each day as given to us by God Himself.

This becomes for us not an opportunity for free expression but rather of faithfulness to what God sets before us.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#47 Rick H.

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 02:21 PM

. . . I want to say that I mean precisely that there is a 'right answer' as to how to fast but according to the situation at hand.



Dear Father Raphael,

I think you made your point well the first time about 'how' to fast. But, the end result is the same . . . there is no one rule or 'right answer' regarding whether we should all eat or whether we should all not eat.

As I read your writing about freedom and faithfulness, I am not sure that I see an antithesis here as it relates to "the real life in Christ," as St. Theophan has said in The Path. Free expression independent of death to self is certainly not the Christian Way; however, without the participation of our free will there is no aid of transforming Grace.

This will teach me to not say this will be my last post anymore. :)

In Christ,
Rick

#48 Nina

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 03:15 PM

There are teachings from the Fathers that support both views expressed in this thread, that's why we always rely to the guidance and blessing of our own spiritual father for our own personal fasting.

#49 Father David Moser

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:01 PM

all[/U] eat or whether we should all not eat.


To try and summarize a bit: whether or not we fast is an absolute - we do. There is a universal "baseline" for how we fast (that being the strict fasting rule), however that universal baseline must be applied to the situation of each person resulting in variations in how we fast. This, I think is what both Fr Raphael and Rick are saying. What I think needs to be emphasized (and what Fr Raphael was, imo, trying get across) is that we don't make these decisions about applying the fast ourselves individually, but that this application of the fast is given to us by our proper Church Authority, whether that be a national synod or the diocesan bishop or our local priest acting in obedience to his diocesan bishop. The important element here is obedience - we do not modify the fast according to our own self will or our own best rationalization, rather we act in obedience to those whom God has placed in authority over us in the Church.

I think that there are a multitude of spiritual reasons why we fast from this or that food and so on, but in the end those reasons are simply used by the Church (and the Church authorities) to give a fasting rule that is both doable and spiritually beneficial to each person. But we do not give ourselves a fasting rule - it is given to us from our spiritual father (or similar Church authority). Obedience, according to the Fathers, is the most effective means of spiritually beneficial self denial and of acquiring humility. Fasting should always be - at least partially - an exercise in obedience as well as an exercise in self denial and warfare on the passions.

Fr David Moser

#50 Rick H.

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:21 PM

To try and summarize a bit: whether or not we fast is an absolute - we do. There is a universal "baseline" for how we fast (that being the strict fasting rule), however that universal baseline must be applied to the situation of each person resulting in variations in how we fast.

[ . . .] But we do not give ourselves a fasting rule - it is given to us from our spiritual father (or similar Church authority). Obedience, according to the Fathers, is the most effective means of spiritually beneficial self denial and of acquiring humility. Fasting should always be - at least partially - an exercise in obedience as well as an exercise in self denial and warfare on the passions.

Fr David Moser



Dear Father David,

Thanks for the five star summary and the big picture. Sometimes it does help to fly a little higher--yes, the "baseline," the bottom line.

In Christ,
Rick

#51 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:41 PM

our dear friends . . . started making fun of the fast and started blaspheming Christ and Virgin Mary.


Hmmm - some friends! Some Catholics! I don't think I'd keep them on my Christmas card list.

#52 Nina

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:09 PM

Hmmm - some friends! Some Catholics! I don't think I'd keep them on my Christmas card list.


I will and I will keep them on the Christmas gift list too, because the hostess and the host are some of the sweetest people ever. You see, when things are said for the glory of God, what happens is that the devil enters some people and makes a mess. No person is immune to that, unless deified. Therefore it is not the fault of the host, that he started making fun of fasting etc. It is also my fault because I should have had the discernment to know this beforehand and keep silent.

#53 Nicolaj

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:31 PM

Therefore it is not the fault of the host, that he started making fun of fasting etc. It is also my fault because I should have had the discernment to know this beforehand and keep silent.


He started to make fun out of it because he did not really know what to make out of it. He was abashed, because he, as many other RC members, do not know anything about the practice of fasting at all. So far has fasting come in the RC.

I thank Father David and Father Raphael for their posts.

My Father told me to keep the fast. And to be obedient, so I am.

Wednesday we start.

Christos voskrese! Nicolaj

#54 Nina

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:51 PM

My Father told me to keep the fast. And to be obedient, so I am.

Wednesday we start.

Christos voskrese! Nicolaj


Good for you dear Nicolaj! Although I can not imitate your zeal and I am not as strong (and broke my fast :( although I thought that I could be stronger), I still do admire very much your zeal, passion and diligence for God because as Blessed Theophylact has said in his Explanation of the Gospel of St. Luke, p. 94

…if you have diligence and zeal, you will be given greater grace from God. But he who has neither diligence nor zeal, by his negligence will extinguish and lose even that grace which he seems to have from God.



#55 Jean-Serge

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:15 PM

Regarding fasting when invited by a non-orthodox, I think that practically, we could set the dates in order that we meet during non-fast periods. That's what I do without saying I'm fasting. I say, not this day but why not such other day. So during Lent period, it helps not to be disturbed my mundane activities. Regarding the attitude when offered non-fast food, here is an extract from the life of Saint Luarsab II, king of what is Georgia today (in the Caucasus).

Soon the Great Fast arrived, and Shah Abbas planned a sumptuous feast. He secretly ordered that a plate of fish be brought for Luarsab, but the pious king would not touch it. Instead he told his oppressor, “Today you want me to break my fast by eating fish, tomorrow you will offer me meat, and finally you will demand that I renounce the Christian Faith!


Source : http://www.pravoslav...nglish/7287.htm

Or

Shah Abbas I received St Luarsab II amicably and, it would seem, was prepared to fulfill his promise. After a hunt together Shah Abbas invited him to Mazandaran, but Luarsab II refused to eat fish (since it was Great Lent), despite the threats and demands of the shah. The enraged shah began to insist that the Georgian emperor accept Islam, in return for which he promised to let him go with great treasures to Kartli, threatening death by torture if he did not. The emperor Luarsab II, having from his youth kept strict fast and constantly at prayer, without hesitation refused the demands of the shah.


Source : http://ocafs.oca.org...D=1&FSID=101777

Edited by Olga, 25 March 2012 - 01:43 AM.
changed font size


#56 Michael Stickles

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 01:33 AM

Setting the dates can work well when the dates are not pre-set, but that's a little tricky with holidays like Thanksgiving. And as for the attitude when offered non-fast food, there are always counter-examples, such as this one from the life of St. Spyridon, Bishop of Tremithus:

Sozomen, in his CHURCH HISTORY, offers an amazing example from the life of the saint of how he received strangers. One time, at the start of the Forty-day Fast, a stranger knocked at his door. Seeing that the traveller was very exhausted, St Spyridon said to his daughter, "Wash the feet of this man, so he may recline to dine." But since it was Lent there were none of the necessary provisions, for the saint "partook of food only on certain days, and on other days he went without food." His daughter replied that there was no bread or flour in the house. Then St Spyridon, apologizing to his guest, ordered his daughter to cook a salted ham from their larder. After seating the stranger at table, he began to eat, urging that man to do the same. When the latter refused, calling himself a Christian, the saint rejoined, "It is not proper to refuse this, for the Word of God proclaims, "Unto the pure all things are pure".


In the end, I think Nina's note in post #48, and Father David's expansion of the point in post #49, provide the best advice.

#57 Jean-Serge

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:26 AM

we don't make these decisions about applying the fast ourselves individually, but that this application of the fast is given to us by our proper Church Authority, whether that be a national synod or the diocesan bishop or our local priest acting in obedience to his diocesan bishop. The important element here is obedience - we do not modify the fast according to our own self will or our own best rationalization, rather we act in obedience to those whom God has placed in authority over us in the Church.
Fr David Moser


What if the authority is bad and lenient and says for example it is not necessary to fast or things like this? The limit of obedience is when the instructions given are bad.

#58 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:47 PM

Fr. is talking about the timeless authority of the Church, not the contemporary ideas of those around us. If a priest tells his parish they don't have to fast, it is HE who is being disobedient and he will answer for his disobedience as well as the disobedience of his flock at the appointed time. This should be a humbling thought for all of us.




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