Wednesday, November 12, 2003

It was so good the first time...

... that I'll repeat myself (or rather St. John Chrysostom) again:

Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor.

Why? What's so important about this comment? Well, it reminds me of a conversation I had with an Orthodox brother of mine on an internet messageboard recently. There was a particular forum at this board where I was trying to refrain from posting in, because it was serving as an occassion of sin for me. My Orthodox brother told me to consider it a fast, to which I replied:

[D]on't we typically fast from things that we enjoy?

To which he replied:
So true, in that we enjoy our passions as fallen sinners. IIRC we are also to fast from that which we abhor, i.e. sin and the desire to rip someone a new you-know-what because he or she has denigrated our faith and our Lord.

Upon further review of his comments, I came to a conclusion I should have come to a long time earlier:
I guess I never saw the avoidance of sin as fasting before. Definitely gives me a better appreciation and understanding of this practice. Also, when it comes right down to it, typically we sin because it feels good and it satisfies urges that are not conducive to us living lives worthy of Christ, so giving up sin (which is a good thing in and of itself) and it's relationship to fasting should've clicked in my mind earlier... it just never did. So, I suppose I am fasting.

He closed with:
Let us fast with a fast pleasing to the Lord. This is the true fast: the casting off of evil, the bridling of the tongue, the cutting off of anger, the cessation of lusts, evil talking, lies and cursing. The stopping of these is the fast true and acceptable. (Monday Vespers of the First Week of Great Lent)

Posting the quote from St. John Chrysostom today jogged my memory of that discussion. And with that, I propose that we all consider making a true fast. A true fast, as St. Ambrose states, is repentance: True repentance is to cease to sin.

I, for one, long for true repentance.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?