+++Tips for Wensday and Friday fasts!

edited December 1969 in Personal Issues
In the name of the HOlY TRINITY! Amen

I have been fasting Wensdays and Fridays for a while now, and don't feel like i have been faithfully fasting. LIke i have been fasting only SINCE its Wensday and Friday, its kinda lost its spirtuality.

How can i be truly faithful to this fasting, so i can grow in my relationship with God?

Any tips or ideas?
I need help!
May God bless you and grant you to answer this question accrding to his will. Thank you all 


  • Greetings!!!
    I hope I have a good tip for u  :)
    I think it is important to know the reason why we fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. Do u know the reason why it is Wednesday and Friday we fast? If u do not know the reason, this could be a good start for your spiritual growth; by finding out. Ask your Priest or return to this forum and someone will tell u.
    In order to grow spiritually u have to study holy books, talk to the good shephards and good orthodox christians who can help u in your growth. When u begin to study then u will find something that stands out and interests u personally and u know when something sparks our interest it encourages us to continue with a new and maybe even better outlook.

    God bless u!!!
  • + Irini nem ehmot,

    The Proper Fast and its Effects According to the Fathers
    by Mena Rizkalla

    Fasting is a medicine; but a medicine, though it be never so profitable, becomes frequently useless owing to the unskilfulness of him who employs it. For it is necessary to know, moreover, the time when it should be applied, and the requisite quantity of it; and the temperament of body that admits it; and the nature of the country, and the season of the year; and the corresponding diet; as well as various other particulars; any of which, if one overlooks, he will mar all the rest that have been named. Now if, when the body needs healing, such exactness is required on our part, much more ought we, when our care is about the soul, and we seek to heal the distempers of the mind, to look, and to search into every particular with the utmost accuracy. - St. John Chrysostom, Concerning the Statues, Homily III

    Spoken as though a pharmacist, St. John Chrysostom summarizes the importance of fasting – it is not an option he is teaching us, rather, it is a needed tool. Even though our body requires this drug, he realizes that we might not recognize the need for it if we are not using it properly. The focus of our meditation this week, then, is on the proper fast, and the effects of fasting on our spiritual lives. Another time we will speak of the “healing” that fasting brings – for only by understanding these three will we ever fully appreciate our need for fasting.

    Fasting must not be a mere physical fast. It is not simply abstinence from food until a certain hour of the day, nor is it simply avoiding meats and dairy products. An acceptable fast is fast of the body and soul, it is a fast where we struggle to be true Christians. Justin Martyr writes, “This is not the fast which I have chosen, saith the Lord; but loose every unrighteous bond, dissolve the terms of wrongous covenants, let the oppressed go free, and avoid every iniquitous contract. Deal thy bread to the hungry, and lead the homeless poor under thy dwelling; if thou seest the naked, clothe him; and do not hide thyself from thine own flesh. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy garments shall rise up quickly: and thy righteousness shall go before thee, and the glory of God shall envelope thee." (Studies in Philosophy and Other Articles, Chapter XV, In What the True Fasting Consists)

    A proper fast then, is a fast in which not only your flesh is held under subjection, but your spirit is ‘released’, as His Holiness teaches, from the bonds of sins. It is a time in which love of God and your neighbour must be made manifest.

    St. Athanasius speaks both of the effects of fasting and what the proper consists of as well, “Behold, my brethren, how much a fast can do, and in what manner the law commands us to fast. It is required that not only with the body should we fast, but with the soul. Now the soul is humbled when it does not follow wicked opinions, but feeds on becoming virtues. For virtues and vices are the food of the soul and it can eat either of these two meats, and incline to either of the two, according to its own will.” (First Festal Letter)

    Here it is emphasized that a person’s will is the essential battle – that a person must choose to fast the proper fast. For this reason we must hold ourselves in examination constantly – checking to see if we are fasting mechanically, or whether we are struggling to fast a true fast.

    The Fathers in the Paradise teach us how to fast practically, lest we observe the opposite extreme of abusing our bodies in the pretences of righteousness and zealousness, “Abba Joseph asked Abba Poemen what was the proper way in which to fast, and Abba Poemen said unto him, "I prefer the man who eateth every day a very small quantity of food, and who doth not satisfy his cravings for food." And Abba Joseph said unto him, "When thou wast a young man didst thou not fast two days at a time, O father?" Then the old man said unto him, "Yea, I did, and three days at a time, and four days at a time, and even a week at a time; and the old men, like men of might, have tried all these by experience, but they have found that it is beneficial for a man to eat an exceedingly small quantity of food each day, and because of this they have delivered unto us an easy way to the kingdom." (Paradise of the Holy Fathers, Vol. II, On Fasting and Abstinence, #102)


    "Abstinence in respect of the soul consisteth in making straight its ways and habits, and courses of action, and in cutting off the passions of the soul." (Paradise of the Holy Fathers, Vol. II, Questions and Answers on the Ascetic Rule #324)

    So a proper fast consists of subjecting the flesh, freeing the spirit, much prayer, and above all, an expression of true Christianity: love. One is not fasting if he is simply avoiding certain foods, nor is he fasting if he brings upon himself all sorts of bodily afflictions as though these are what the Lord requires – a Lord requires a fasting, struggling, honest heart.
    With this proper fast, then, come numerous effects, and one need not do more than read the words of our Fathers to learn of these. St. Ambrose teaches that we will have our sins washed and be granted power, "And what is the intention of the Scripture which teaches us that Peter fasted, and that the revelation concerning the baptism of Gentiles was made to him when fasting and praying, except to show that the Saints themselves advance when they fast. Finally, Moses received the Law when he was fasting; and so Peter when fasting was taught the grace of the New Testament. Daniel too by virtue of his fast stopped the mouths of the lions and saw the events of future times. And what safety can there be for us unless we wash away our sins by fasting, since Scripture says that fasting and alms do away sin?" (Epistle LXIII)

    St. John Chrysostom teaches how much our fast affects prayer, “He that fasts is light, and winged, and prays with wakefulness, and quenches his wicked lusts, and propitiates God, and humbles his soul when lifted up. Therefore even the apostles were almost always fasting. He that prays with fasting hath his wings double, and lighter than the very winds." (Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew, Homily LVII)

    The desert fathers tell us that it will strengthen our heart, “A brother asked an old man quetions about comforts [or pleasures], and the old man said unto him, "Eat grass, wear grass, and sleep on grass, and then thy heart will become like iron." (Paradise of the Holy Fathers, Vol. II, On Fasting and Abstinence, #69)

    We will pray more easily, “A fasting man prays austerely, but the mind of someone intemperate is filled up with unclean imaginings.” (John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, p. 168)

    Our father Evagrios, a universal saint, summarizes nicely,Fast before the Lord according to your strength, for to do this will purge you of your iniquities and sins; it exalts the soul, sanctifies the mind, drives away the demons, and prepares you for God's presence. (Evagrios the Solitary, The Philokalia, Vol. I, p.36)

    The greatest ‘effect’ though, is that the Lord Himself looks upon our small sacrifice and struggle, and will Himself come to our aid, “Begrudge the stomach and your heart will be humbled; please the stomach and your mind will turn proud. And if you watch yourself early in the morning, at midday, and in the hour before dinner, you will discover the value of fasting, for in the morning your thoughts are lively, by the sixth hour they have grown quieter and by sundown they are finally calm. If you can begrudge the stomach, your mouth will stay closed, because the tongue flourishes where food is abundant. Fight as hard as you can against the stomach and let your vigilance hold it in. Make the effort, however little, and the Lord will quickly come to help you. (John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, pg. 168)

    The fathers are unanimous on our fasting then, a proper fast is a fast of the heart: we keep His commandments, we love our neighbour, and we love Him. It is a fast in which we seek earnestly for virtues, not after the lusts of the flesh. By and through this struggle, we are aided to pray properly, our hearts are strengthened, we are granted internal peace, but most importantly, in our trials and tribulations, the Lord will come swiftly to our aid. From this, then, we are not surprised at the healing that comes with our fast, which we will discuss during this season as well. Let us all pray that we may fast an acceptable fast before Him, in purity and righteousness, even as He fasted on our behalf and was tempted. Let us, like Him, fast that we may elevate our bodies and souls to the heavenly, and drive away demons with humility and abasement, looking always to the glory and hope that is in Christ our redeemer.

    Glory be to our God forever and ever. Amen.

  • thanks for that  :D
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