March 8, 2022

Homily on the Tuesday of the First Week of Great Lent (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

How weak we are, listeners: we fasted for one day and we are already weak. This is what our non-habit of fasting means, this is what our habit of immoderate consumption of food and drink means. If during the year we drank and ate more moderately, then it would be easy for us to fast now, and we would not become as weak as we are now. However, do not be embarrassed by your present weakness; it's nothing that you have weakened a little, this weakening is bodily, but not moral. There is power in this weakening, and the power is saving for us. By this weakening you prove obedience to the Holy Church. Yes, the Holy Church looks with love at those who fast, for she sees in this obedience to herself. If God promises those who honor their father and mother a long and happy life, then to those who obey their mother, the Holy Church, He will give life eternal, blessed life.

Some say: what is the use of a great fast, when this fast weakens a person to such an extent that he cannot even pray with attention, especially stand in church and listen to reading and singing? Don't listen, Christians, to people who say that. If you listen to them, then you need to leave all the fasts - both great and small. Fasting weakens the body of a person, but this weakening is also salvific for a person, for with this weakening, passions weaken in us - the main enemies of our salvation, and with this weakening, the power of God is instilled in us, by which alone we are saved.

Yes, the power of God is made perfect in weakness. Then the work of salvation is accomplished in us, when we begin to realize that we can do nothing for our salvation. Fasting weakens the strength of a person, but why should a fasting person be afraid? The demons do not dare to approach the fasting one, the guardian angels of our life relentlessly visit those who exhaust their bodies with fasting.

Therefore, do not be discouraged when fasting weakens you somewhat and brings you to exhaustion; if you fast out of obedience to the Holy Church, to please God and save your soul, then no matter how weakened you are from fasting, your fasting will certainly be pleasing to God and saving for you. And the Angels, who at every church record those who fast, will also include you in their list.

Why be discouraged when you fast? God is with you, guardian angels are with you, the prayers of the Holy Church are for you. Amen.