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The fast of the apostles ends, and I think you can safely, without passions to discuss: what was it? And in General – why do we post? Liberation from passions, almsgiving, and prayer – but not only, the nun Eugenia (Senchukova) what other lessons should we learn from the post.

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The Nun Eugenia (Senchukova)

In fact, fasting is the last remaining to us of the ascetic practice. All night prayer vigil is left in the rare monasteries, Hiking, pilgrimage became a journey into the comfortable planes and buses with accommodation in comfortable hotels… And the post preserved. Though too heavily modified form what we continue to talk.

Initially from the post, there are three functions that it has been repeated many times and not to repeat the sin again:

– the liberation of the body from heavy food, and with it the liberation of the soul,

– free up resources to help those in need (we will not speak, and everything is clear: if to fast carrots with buckwheat porridge and pickled herring, to help others we certainly can, but you really want is – as the saying goes, think for yourself, decide for yourself),

– release time for prayer.

I have one more added: the liberation of the passions with a view to their detection and eradication. This is particularly evident on the example of Great lent. “I can’t fast, I become angry!” says the person upset and, in desperation, throws to fast at all. And he is deeply wrong. Because the post just need to get out all the weaknesses diagnosed, can be treated.

Another thing that your post does not become a torture for others, their attention is necessary to record it on its internal state and behavior and not on the composition of the mayonnaise.

And then begins the prayer.

As for junk food, then we come to what post we have also changed very much. We all know that in the early, and not in the very early Church it was just about giving up food altogether. The Typicon says sternly, in fast days food taken once a day, and night. Because any food is relatively heavy. “Full belly to teaching deaf” as it is known.

Of course, any sane person has the right to ask me a question: what are we – to fast, as the first ascetics? And now to the question itself brings us to the theoretical and even hypothetical, but a very urgent topic – the reform of the post. If I had it to spend, I would have explained its meaning this way: to return the post the value of the feat, personal ascetic exercises, not just a pious performance of the rite.

I hasten to reassure the adherents of the Constitution: I do not propose to completely abandon the observance of the statutory posts. On the contrary. The ascetic exercise is preparation for something very important. So, for example, Eucharistic fasting can not be touched under any circumstances, the breach is permissible for truly extraordinary reasons – sickness. Mandatory, in my opinion, there should be posts in front of the Master’s most important holidays (Christmas eve and Transfiguration), of course – Great post. Moreover, the Holy week should offer the most severe “exemplary” Charter: eat once a day without oil, good Friday – all without the meal.

Other posts also usually perform the function of training expectations. Advent in any amount (whether to start it after the Apostle Philip, or to keep only Eve, in my opinion, the question is purely disciplinary), as the eve of Epiphany, and the first (Transfiguration) days of the Dormition fast, as the last days before the Dormition of the Theotokos (Dormition fast in General is not entirely clear – according to legend, the virgin Mary and the apostles waited for three days, Her assumption, and not a week or two), prepare us to different “Manifestations”, in the terminology of phenomenology of religion – teofania.

Dormition fast, by the way, very comforting despite not quite obvious rootedness in the tradition, for reasons of not even ascetic: summer, spirit of peace, there is time just to escape from all the fuss, to relax from the cooking and with a basket of fruit to think about something pleasant. Or about someone. Even about someone. About The Mother Of God.


The idea of “compensatory” Petrova post it seems strange to me, although historically it was. But what is the point to fast “instead of” lent? he will not return, and Easter, fortunately, all has come. I would say that this post is very personal. It is connected specifically with access to the sermon, to which, as we know, all Christians are called. But – if you do not prevaricate – there are those among us who preaches all year round, and those who do not preach. So the Apostle’s fast can be called “fasting to feel the calling of a missionary”. Ironically will notice that our Yakutsk, and Belgorod with a missionary slant to the Seminary can fast – their graduates are, by definition, missionaries.

If to speak about their own experiences, I love the fast of the apostles, and even after Trinity weeks waiting for it, perceiving it as a sign of solidarity with the apostles and missionaries. Nowadays the risk of being cooked alive or fed to lions is not very high, so at least a little, but gladly accept the challenge to prove their a Christian, but because his Apostolic vocation. A special importance should be given no food, and intellectual content of the apostles ‘ fast that I tried to offer in his text to the beginning.

And another is in the course of the year to allocate Wednesdays and Fridays, as we now do. A kind of consecration of time, the reflection of Holy week and the coming Sunday throughout the year. Possible, environments and Fridays is to offer various statutes: for example, it seems logical to Wednesday and Friday to fast really until the middle of the day (meaning not there), but then does not distinguish between lean and fast forbidden food.

Finally, the most important thing. Fasting is very individual, and this understanding need to come back. Repentance for eaten milk chocolate has no relation either to repentance or to godliness. To repent is gluttony, for that matter, or in sin against their conscience, if you decided not to eat chocolates. The Charter is just a sample. As your personal Charter, each picks for himself, sometimes priest, sometimes.

To summarize.

Fasting is really a unique practice. If we aren’t aware of it, keep it for show and not ponder over it, we are robbing ourselves.

And to understand how it enriches, I propose to conduct a spiritual experiment (and here is better under the supervision of a priest) is to live the whole year or at least some period of time according to the Typicon. Testify that this experience is so strong that it can be compared with the initiation. So this “quest according to the Typicon” would be a great addition to catechesis or conscious Church. In the end, after checking so your hand, you can understand and determine their degree of fasting.

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