fasting and feasting during great lent

This coming Monday (known as Clean Monday) we begin Great Lent. Much is said about fasting and abstaining from certain foods. But Great Lent is also about fasting from certain attitudes and characteristics that creep into our hearts and minds. A friend sent me a list of fasts and feasts that we need to keep this Lent. I asked for a blessing to reprint the list here on Scholé. He asked to remain anonymous.

Consider the following which are more important than what you put in your stomach.  Disciplining the stomach and its appetites helps with all the rest.

FAST from self-concern and FEAST on compassion for others.

FAST from discouragement and FEAST on hope.

FAST from lethargy and FEAST on enthusiasm.

FAST from suspicion and FEAST on truth.

FAST from thoughts that weaken and FEAST on promises that inspire.

FAST from shadows of sorrow and FEAST on the sunlight of serenity.

FAST from idle gossip and FEAST on purposeful silence.

FAST from problems that overwhelm you and FEAST on prayer that sustains.

FAST from criticism and FEAST on praise.

FAST from self-pity and FEAST on joy.

FAST from ill-temper and FEAST on peace.

FAST from resentment and FEAST on contentment.

FAST from jealousy and FEAST on love.

FAST from pride and FEAST on humility.

FAST from selfishness and FEAST on service.

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7 Comments

Filed under Orthodox Christianity

7 responses to “fasting and feasting during great lent

  1. This is great! Thanks, Fr. James

  2. Tassos

    Just love and display love to others. Do nothing that will bring them down.

  3. Sophia

    Could I have permission to share this as well….and to print it out?

  4. Dorothea

    I stumbled upon (or was lead to) this blog while preparing for our Women’s Study Fellowship (St. Paul’s G. O. Church) Thank you for the beautifully expressed thoughts and explanations and for sharing your love of Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church. God bless your ministry and the faithful parishioners of St. Ignatius of Antioch Orthodox Church.

  5. Father James, this is a wonderful list. I blog about food – but am also currently observing Lent. I do fast from types of food and drink during this time, but also try to think carefully about what I can “do” rather than just “not do”. Your suggestions are marvellous. Peace be with you.

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