The 40-day fasting period that prepares our minds, souls, and bodies for the Nativity of Our Lord begins Monday, Nov. 15th. I’ll be sending out my own thoughts on the fast in an email to the parish, but here are some reflections from Bishop Kurt that I found helpful.
Why do we fast? There are three important reasons why we fast:
First, we fast to partake of the Food of Paradise. Christ came to restore paradise to us and so we eat the food of paradise in conformity with this gift He gives us.
Second, we fast for Healing. The demons of physical and spiritual affliction can be driven out only by prayer and fasting, as Jesus indicated when the apostles asked why they could not drive out the demon from the child in Mark 9:29.
And third, we fast to conform to the will of God. Our life of faith in Christ is to follow Him. We fulfill His will for us by taking up our cross that, in dying ourselves, we will be raised up. Fasting is the way we learn to conform our daily lives to this, His will.
Even if we find it very difficult to keep this abstinence, the spirit of the fast is always recommended – that we abstain from things that are extremely pleasing or excessive and practice penance. More time should be allowed for prayer, attending services and for acts of charity to others.
You can find the whole article at https://www.sscyrilmethodius.org/byzantine-fasting/
Monday, November 15 –