How striking it is to hear the nature of the struggle with gluttony and the need for fasting spoken of with such zeal and clarity! Such practices have for the most part fallen by the wayside or have been minimized to such an extent as to be equally nonexistent. The unfortunate fruit of this is that we often have never tasted the freedom and the strength comes through ordering our appetite for food. Thus, the humbling of the mind and the body and the deepening of the experience of prayer through the stilling of the thoughts is also rarely experienced.
We need to take hold of the wisdom of the fathers and their zeal that will allow us to put it into practice. St. John tells us that when God sees the movement of the mind abs the heart towards Him through these practices that He will aid us with His grace.
We also see that the fathers have a very clear sense of the workings of the human mind and how we experience our bodily appetites. Their observations of what takes place on a physiological level are astute and reveal the depth of their experience. All of it is meant to fashion within our hearts a renewed desire for the ascetic life.
We must see that which is uniquely an distinctively Christian about these practices. For while St. John and the other fathers speak of them so frequently, they also understand that their beginning and end is found in one’s relationship with God. The desire for God’s love must compel us.
00:17:21 Bridget McGinley: Whose end is destruction; whose God is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things- Philippians 3:19
00:23:45 Emma C: I have a question!
00:24:02 Emma C: I was wondering can fasting help with other attachments to the world like shopping?
00:24:10 Brett Pavia, BCMA: I have a question …
00:24:15 Emma C: Excessive shopping*
00:36:18 Rachel : That's a fantastic idea.
00:36:40 Anthony: The back of the Publican's Prayer Book has a guide to ease into fasting, written by Patriarch Gregorios III.
Also, Italian food is a LOT of peasant food (cucina povera).
00:41:40 Rachel : You have good friends. In Cali, you can find something at a steakhouse though.
00:42:12 Rachel : "Crab feed"
00:42:19 Anthony: This one does. Fish is usually penance. So is soup. ;)
00:42:21 Ambrose Little, OP: I dunno. Ours is plain, and I don’t like fish. 😄 😄
00:42:27 Ren Witter: Reacted to "I dunno. Ours is pla..." with 😄
00:42:44 Ren Witter: Yea, I’ve smelled some fish fries that seem pretty penitential
00:57:18 Ambrose Little, OP: Ora et labora?
01:01:31 Anthony: Prayer is serious. It takes work. A person can stay up and watch entertainment, but it isn't work - but stay up too late and you feel horrible. Maybe it's a counterfeit to work to make the work of a vigil distasteful.
01:06:06 Anthony: Same here, Brett
01:08:01 David: A priest suggested finding a rock or something to hold in one hand during prayer. I have a rock from a Jesuit retreat house and it helps get my mind focused. It becomes a habit when held my mind goes to God.
01:15:31 Debra: Reacted to "Yea, I’ve smelled so..." with 😆
01:15:51 Mitch: On our commitment to Christ I’ve often felt like I have spiritual amnesia. I feel at home when in the spiritual work and then I go out into the world with its suffering again and forget my true home. I feel like my task each day is to remember the truth
01:19:33 Sean: Met. Kallistos of blessed memory said that unceasing prayer is not something that we say from time to time, but rather something that we are, all of the time (even during sleep)☦️
01:20:21 Jeff O.: Reacted to "Met. Kallistos of bl..." with 👍
01:22:29 Mitch: Thank you very much Happy Easter/Pascha to everyone!