Fasting is more than abstaining from certain foods
This coming Monday is the beginning of Great and Holy Lent, so now is a good time to prepare ourselves for this Lenten Journey. As with previous years, I am sharing this approach to fasting, which will greatly enrich this penitential preparation for the Feast of the Holy Resurrection.
With love in Christ,
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.
Friday March 8, 2019 / February 23, 2019
Week of the Last Judgment. Tone seven.
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded
Hieromartyr Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (167).
New Hieromartyrs Alexis, Nicholas priests and Martyr Sergius (1938).
Uncovering of the relics (1998) St Matrona the Blind of Moscow (1952).
Venerable Polycarp, monk, of Briansk (1620-21).
Venerables John, Antioch, Antoninus, Moses, Zebinas, Polychronius, Moses, and Damian, ascetics of the Syrian desert (5th c.).
Venerable Alexander, founder of the order of the Unsleeping Ones (430).
Venerable Moses, monk, of White Lake (1480).
Venerable Gorgonia, sister of St. Gregory the Theologian (372) (Greek).
Venerable Damian of Esphigmenou, Mt. Athos (1280) (Greek).
New Monk-martyr Damian the New of Philotheou, who suffered at Larissa (1568) (Greek).
St. John the Harvester of Stylos in Calabria (11th c.).
Venerable Cosmas of Zographou, Mt. Athos (1281).
New Hieromartyr Lazarus of the Peloponnese (1618).
St. Nazarius, abbot of Valaam (1809).
St. Mildburga, abbes of Much Wenlock..
Martyr Clement (Greek).
Martyr Thea (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east
And from the land of the west;
8 I will bring them back,
And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
They shall be My people
And I will be their God,
In truth and righteousness.’
9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Let your hands be strong,
You who have been hearing in these days
These words by the mouth of the prophets,
Who spoke in the day the foundation was laid
For the house of the Lord of hosts,
That the temple might be built.
10 For before these days
There were no wages for man nor any hire for beast;
There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in;
For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor.
11 But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ says the Lord of hosts.
12 ‘For the seed shall be prosperous,
The vine shall give its fruit,
The ground shall give her increase,
And the heavens shall give their dew—
I will cause the remnant of this people
To possess all these.
13 And it shall come to pass
That just as you were a curse among the nations,
O house of Judah and house of Israel,
So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing.
Do not fear,
Let your hands be strong.’
14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Just as I determined to punish you
When your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’
Says the Lord of hosts,
‘And I would not relent,
15 So again in these days
I am determined to do good
To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
Do not fear.
16 These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’
Says the Lord.”
19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’
20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Peoples shall yet come,
Inhabitants of many cities;
21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,
“Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord,
And seek the Lord of hosts.
I myself will go also.”
22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the Lord.’
23 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ”