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Saints and Feasts of November 29

Monday, November 16, 2020

A Reflection on the Christmas Fast of 2020

 

 
 Tomorrow starts
the Christmas fast....
But now you will tell me
"But my Father since this year
they will not let us attend liturgy
for Christmas
the way things are going... what meaning does it have?
Do we not fast to Commune???
What kind of fasting will this be???"
I honestly have no answer
to this problem....
All I know is that
Fasting is a virtue
(I prefer it to "command"),
it is the fragrant flower of Grace
whose root reaches
back to the Garden of Paradise
(think, it was the first command
given by God to man)....
Fasting of course
does not have to do
only with abstaining from some food
otherwise we would be talking about a diet
(or vegan diet),
it does not have to do
only with physical effort
otherwise we would be talking about exercise
(in the sporting sense),
it does not have to do
with denial, hatred
for matter, desires,
otherwise we would talk about all this differently
(the falsehoods taught by the Oriental religions....)
Fasting hides within
two precious roses
freedom of choice and
the dynamics of self-sacrifice....
It has a transitional,
a Transfigurational (in the Theological sense)
perspective of the body and soul....
But like all virtues so is it
not an end in itself
but the medium
to "thin out" of our existence the passions,
to be freer to "run" close to Christ....
Of course there are people near to us
for whom fasting is their disease....
To them only "respect"
and "no comments"....
So fast if you can
but do not judge him
who fails,
please do not let it dry up
along with the fat of your body
the mercy and the compassion of your heart as well....
If you cannot fast
at the same time do not take advantage of it,
do not launch your own theologies
("If you help someone
you do not need to fast"),
it's not cool,
it's a weakness....
Fasting is not just about
the contents of our stomach
but mainly the content of our heart,
and I think about it every time
the thought comes to me
when it's 10 minutes till 12:
"Come eat, you still have time ..."
or when it's 10 minutes past 12:
"Come on, the day has changed now,
you can eat...."
That is why we need His help
(in this fight as well)....
The ones we read about in the saying of the elders
with the people of God
who ate little and prayed a lot
they are not fiction,
they were like you, like me,
they were people with passions, mistakes and weaknesses
but at the same time
with an insatiable hunger,
with an unquenchable thirst
for the love it offers richly
the presence of God in their lives....
They tasted this Love
and they testify to us that with Her
man (his existence)
alone is satisfied, feels full....
However,
given the situation we are experiencing,
I hope it does not count
from our God
as a shame
that we are fasting from Christ (Holy Communion)
which has been imposed on the faithful....
May we have a blessed Lent!
May God scatter His
Light,
Grace and
Joy
on the cobbled streets of our soul and life!!!

FATHER IOANNIS PAPADIMITRIOU

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.  


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