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[quote] [b]VaDave wrote:[/b] Fast in secret so your Father will see you in secret and reward you openly. I do not fast outside of either my home and Orthodox events.[/quote] sorry for the initial post without my two cents... Ive often pondered this in my own situation and have had mixed feelings. I asked my spiritual father who advised me that I should uphold our faith and to fast even if it meant refusing and or telling your host you cant have it. I suppose you can also pick and chose items you eat if you have a choice without saying anything thereby not feeling you are \\"fasting in the open\\"
of course... when people put the choice on me - usually I say things like \\"oh, I like spaghetti!\\" or \\"oh, how about rice cake soup, or curry rice tonight?\\" in that way, I feel like it\'s my fast, and not a pushing of my practice onto others... because almost none of my friends are orthodox.... because in a city of 10.2 million people, there is only one cathedral of about 400 people... rest of the city is protestant/catholic, buddhist, or atheist/other sometimes I feel like the whole \\"well, I can\'t eat meat this time of year\\" thing seems like show-boating to those outside of the faith, rather than witnessing to them.
We should fast in secret, but that doesn\'t mean not fasting. If you\'re given nonfasting foods by a host, you eat it. That doesn\'t mean that if you go to a BBQ at your friend\'s house, you eat a hamburger just because it was offered at the party. If you\'re at a cookout and you fill a burger bun with tomatoes and lettuce and pickles, most people won\'t notice that you\'re not eating the meat. If they do, you can always say that you\'re trying to eat healthier by reducing your meat and increasing your veggies (they don\'t have to know that it\'s for your spiritual health). In most cases, you can do something similar without drawing attention to yourself. With so many food allergies and preferences and the rise of vegetarianism, it\'s usually not even commented on in my experience. Of course, if as the original poster, you would be offending your brothers by not eating, then, out of love, you eat. Still, it is good to consult your spiritual father. Especially for those of you who are beginning your first Lent: talk to your priest! You wouldn\'t expect to go to the gym and perform like an Olympian if you\'d been sedentary your entire life. You would hire a trainer or a coach and listen to him. Don\'t expect that you can design your own fasting discipline and be successful either. And I wholeheartedly agree with MariaM. Don\'t be legalistic or rigid. The fast is for your benefit and should be approached with love and joy. In Christ, Kim
If someone offers us a non-fast type food, I believe it is not wrong to accept it. God knows what is going on. What we do in secret is more meaningful.
sorry, this entry is just to subscribe to the thread.. :-)
Christian asceticism is above all an ecclesial and not an individual matter. It is the changing of our natures individual mode of existence into a personal communion and relationship, a dynamic entry into the community of the life of the body of the Church. The aim of asceticism is to transfigure our impersonal natural desires and needs into manifestations of the free personal will which brings into being the true life of love. Thus the instinctive need for food, the greed for the individuals independent self-preservation, is transfigured in the context of the Churchs fasting : submission to the common practice of the Church becomes paramount, turning it into an act of relationship and communion. A Christian fasts because in this way he ceases to make the intake of food an autonomous act; he turns it into obedience to the common will and practice of the Church, and subjugates his individual preferences to the Church rules of fasting which determine his choice of food. And obedience freely given always presupposes love: it is always an act of communion. From \\"Freedom of Morality\\" by Christos Yannaras
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