AxiosOrthodoxal news and traditions5 mistakes you make while fasting

5 mistakes you make while fasting

This year has absorbed many challenges and still continues to amaze with new crises, ups and downs and cataclysms. Against the background of economic and information battles, another struggle is taking place — a spiritual one. Whatever happens on the first two fronts, for a Christian the outcome of the internal struggle should be dominant. Hard times temper the spirit, and the tempered spirit sees the world in a new way: in its diversity of possibilities and in the light of God's grace. Spiritual warfare is an effort of virtue and a feat of piety. In this article we will tell you about one of the most important spiritual deeds for a Christian — fasting.

The modern urban rhythm is poorly adapted to church life. Every day routine steals time and everyone has long known that 24 hours a day is too little. Our concern for our neighbors and their welfare is justified, but plunging into worldly vanity we completely forget why we live and what our purpose is. The meaning of fasting is to give a person spiritual freedom. However, getting it requires effort and control. In this article, we want to warn you about the 5 most common mistakes that can hurt you while fasting.

Fasting is not a holy diet.

The most common misconception is converting the idea of ​​fasting into a vegetarian diet. The Lord does not want people to go on a plant-based diet and live like plants themselves. God wants us to become a little more spiritualized, meaningful in our life. It pleases him that we strive to become the temple of the Holy Spirit. And as Archpriest Alexander Ilyashenko said: "The Holy Spirit dwells in a pure heart, and not in an empty stomach." The fasting person, first of all, avoids irritation, fussiness, anger and ill will, and abstinence in food is an auxiliary support in this feat. Physical fasting is impossible without spiritual fasting, and when they unite they serve as a means and a tool for achieving virtues.


"Eat" your neighbor.

Despite its great benefits, fasting is a difficult spiritual struggle, where a person fights with the most powerful and cunning enemy — his own sinful nature. Sometimes this struggle undermines, because personal passions and vicious habits take possession of a person's freedom and will. Fasting physically, a person can become exhausted and break down on loved ones, which will harm the meaning of fasting and even make it harmful. Our peaceful spirit is pleasing to the Lord, it is important for Him that we be in warm and harmonious relations with each other. Our generosity towards loved ones and their shortcomings. Fasting is a great opportunity to experience the vow and translate the hungry, irritated grief of the flesh into spiritual joy that you can share with your loved ones. As the Holy Fathers said: "You at least eat meat during fasting, the main thing is not to eat each other."

Escape to the virtual world.

Thanks to the development of technologies and material goods, the modern person has the widest opportunities for improving his own comfort, supporting health and self-development. However, the flip side of the medal of progress is to increase the means and accommodations for indulging human passions. In our consumer society, the obstacle to spiritual development is no longer people, but technologies and products. If in ancient times the favorite entertainment of all people was delicious and beautiful food, today's people are immersed in the abyss of new entertainment: TV, the Internet, meaningless hours spent on social networks, computer games and other informational garbage that captivate our eyes and time. History develops and the feat of fasting should also be modern to the spirit of the times. For the spiritual health of a Christian during fasting, it is important to protect your heart and eyes from the virtual vanity of this world and to redirect attention to things inspired. You should not completely give up leisure and entertainment, but they should be conscious and useful to our spirit. It can be an educational documentary about the nature and structure of the world, or a spiritual book about the exploits of the saints, the instructions of the Holy Fathers, which you can buy in our store.


To lose to yourself.

For every believer, fasting is a unique journey into their inner spiritual world. And everyone has to meet personal cockroaches and habits that stop us on the path of spiritual development. This collision is bound to cause internal discomfort and irritation. The place of irritation is an indicator of the weak side of a person's character and spirit. Therefore, it is worthwhile to focus on it, move away from yourself, the circumstances and look more closely to trace the causes and consequences of the development of this sinful virus. Fasting is a litmus test of our weaknesses that should be dealt with. According to the Church Fathers, sin is a disease that must be treated. It is very important not to fall, having lost strength and hope for personal transformation. Depending on the complexity of passions and vices, it is worth making the correct spiritual diagnosis of yourself and prescribing a suitable treatment. During fasting, everyone can get rid of their vice with the help of a confessor, prayers, the Holy Mysteries, suitable austerity and reading the Holy Scriptures.


A slave is not a worshiper.

It is very important that the feat of fasting be voluntary. Voluntary participation will weed out all doubts that will arise during the fast, and preserve peaceful and sincere relationships with loved ones. You should neither force others to practice fasting, nor reproach them for not observing it. The spiritual life of each person consists of a personal and social sphere. The personal realm is the individual experience of a relationship with God. The public sphere of spiritual life includes everyone who comes in contact with us: relatives, children, friends, relatives, colleagues. As we wrote above, fasting is a unique journey into our own spiritual world and we should not make the same demands on others as we do on ourselves. The best way to get others to fast is to ask yourself twice as much as you do from others. If this feat is not out of pride and not for the reproach of others in their inaction, faithful and close people will reach out to you and to comply with lean requirements.

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