As we begin the Lenten Season 2012, I was compelled to put together the attached resource to aid in “Getting the Most Out of Fasting” this year. Some of the varying reasons I have put this short article together are:
1. to encourage those sharing in this year’s Lenten journey, to attempt to get more out of this season of Lent.
2. to reflect upon the ancient, Patristic understanding of fasting, which has been corrupted by various influences.
3. to answer some misunderstood aspects of the fast by approaching it more holistically.
4. to encourage those who have not given the fast much thought, an opportunity and a call to reflect on the fast and what your goal is for this year.
Certainly, in no way, is the attached document intended to be a comprehensive explanation of the Lenten fast, but rather is intended to answer some of the questions that I most often hear as a season of fasting begins. If you have any thoughts, comments, suggestions or questions on the attached article, I humbly ask you to please feel free to send me a message.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to print out and fill in page 3, the section entitle “Total Package” Principles for Fasting in the Orthodox Church, and commit yourself to doing it. Research has shown that you are more likely to accomplish your goals, when you write it down. I will only help you in answering 1 of the questions:
End: Date and time I will stop – April 15, 2012 (Feast of Resurrection), After Receiving the Risen Lord in the Eucharist.
If you have questions, as to specific spiritual books, I would suggest that you take the opportunity to sit with your father of confession and ask him, as he should be the most familiar person (aside from yourself, of course) with your spiritual state, and what sort of spiritual book would be most helpful for you to read during this particular fast.
The rest is up to you, the Lord and your spiritual father.
May the Lord bless you during this Journey towards the Resurrection of Christ, granting us a real renewal of our minds, hearts and deeds in conformity with the Risen Christ.
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Michael Sorial