Dorotheos of Gaza: Discourses and Sayings. Chapter 15 The Lenten Fast
Dorothoes begins his short discourse on The Lenten Fast teaching that it is a tithe of the year. It is a “tithe of the very days of our lives as if to consecrate them to God, so that we may be blessed in all our works, and each year to be unburdened of the whole year’s sins. They (the holy apostles) elected to consecrate out of the 365 days of the year, seven weeks of fasting. Saturdays and Sundays were excepted.” (Page 215)
Lenten Fasting is about sober eating but it does not end there…
- Our mouths must fast from the pleasure of eating. We are to avoid only eating fancy foods that are appetizing – rolling the food around our mouths. This is a type of gluttony.
- Our stomachs must fast from being packed. This is another type of gluttony.
- Our tongues must fast from deceit, idle talk and anger.
- Our eyes must fast from wandering freely.
- Our hands and feet must fast from doing evil.
Fasting in this way, as St. Basil says, is an acceptable fast and, leaving behind all the evil to which are senses are inclined, we may come to the Holy Day of the Resurrection, renewed and clean and worthy to share in the holy mysteries…” (Page 218)