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If lent is the Spring time of the spiritual life and if it\'s the time we focus more on our relationship with God in hopes of getting it to a higher level than the rest of the year. And if what we receive in lent is supposed to be our stock for the rest of the year, what do we do after lent? I mean, all what we do during lent, the abstinence, the prayers, the extra readings, meditations...etc. get us closer to God. So, after lent, do we keep fasting the same way to keep close to God? How do we keep what we receive in lent after lent?
in my case... Lent, then fall. haha
Thanks Michael for the link. It\'s a great sermon; one of those that I need to hear several times and put into practice, maybe one-day-one-step at a time. If it wasn\'t for OC, I wouldn\'t have known of sites like the one you pointed. Thanks again. Robotom: I hope not!! :)
Well, let us know if you put it into practice.
Your post made me think of something. So before Lent there is a week were we are not allowed to fast! But why is this? Why would the church tell us this? That fast free week is right around (I believe) the Publican and the Pharisee. From what I have heard/read, it is there to remind us (before our upcoming spiritual trek through Lent) that we should watch ourselves from becoming spiritual Pharisees! There is also Bright week right after Pascha, and really the Feast right after the Pascha service, were we are called to rejoice in God\'s blessings to us! This of course doesn\'t mean that we should lose where we have gained from our Lenten expirence or become little pigs, or lazy in our readings or prayer. But it does mean that we should be obedient even in the \\"feastings and rejoicings\\" of the church because they also are there for good reason....to keep us in check from becoming spiritually prideful, despondant and so on. (And note: that any extra spiritual work should be approved by your priest, to make sure that none of us fall into blinded spiritual pride.) Everything in the church is done for our benefit, thank God for His Blessings! God Bless!
I think that the things we do during lent, like you said, to get us closer to God shouln\'t be sumthing we do once a year for lent. Prayers, readings, and meditations should be a daily thing that we do. That way instead of \\"stocking up\\" we could just do it all year. On the other hand, the parts of lent such as withdrawing from meat and dairy, I think, are just to support us and give us a little boost to help with prayers and meditations.
Lent and then the laundry. Spirituality is something we should internalize and practice in our everyday life. True spirituality should be something that transforms us. If we are truly being transformed then as the Lord said you can\'t hide your lamp under a bushel.
I look at it like this.Lent is part of the unseen warefare we conduct in our lives.It is ongoing and constant.It is not just one 40 day period then stop but continuing to fight the struggle partiularly when we are getting ready to celebrate ourLords Ressurection. The book Unseen Warefare is excellent reading .
Michael: are you saying that you pointed out that sermon without trying it out? Karate: being a Coptic Orthodox we don\'t have the same structure for Lent as maybe OCA ((what you wrote sounds like OCA\'s structure). We don\'t have a week before Lent when we don\'t fast at all. Nevertheless we agree with being careful about spiritual Phariseeism. You are right too about feasting when the church is feasting. God gave the Jews feasting days in the Old Testament and He said (or even commanded them) to feast and rejoice those days. However, one can easily lose the spiritual state gained in Lent if not careful. It\'s often a complaint that we feel spiritually stronger during Lent than after. So how do we keep the balance? Buffoo: true! So is being baptised and being a new creation. Yet we still sin, repent and confess. It\'s an ongoing thing. Are you saying that if what we receive during Lent is not kept after, then that means it wasn\'t true spirituality or we weren\'t really transformed?
I think it\'s a little dangerous to do a consistent fast - ie 365 day Lent. my priest back in my hometown said when he was young, and new to the faith, he was in Greece. While there, he met some young people... and they went to confession every week... he asked \\"why do you confess every week...? you didn\'t do anything wrong..\\" they replied \\"well... it\'s like taking a shower... if you take a shower once a week, you feel clean once a week... if you take a shower every day, you feel clean every day. the same can be applied to fasting, I think. The more often we fast, the more insight we can gain from it. BUT (big \\"but\\") - is it good to be in the shower constantly? Speaking literally, of a shower, obviously not... but speaking of confession - are you ONLY pure when you\'re confessing to the priest? obviously not. Are we ONLY holy when we fast? obviously not. I think it\'s really important to learn about when the Church fasts - but also, as mentioned above, when the Church FEASTS... it is our fasting that keeps our feasting in perspective of what it is - something joyous! It is hard to rejoice when we torture ourselves on a diet of wheatgrass and lentils. The prodigal son\'s father killed the fatted calf - not the fatted watermelon. and I think it\'s important to make dialogue with your priest or spiritual father why it\'s important to feast, too. (in addition to all the, many, mentioned advice of seeking the right fasting regiment) if I have misrepresented the faith in anyway, forgive me... I\'m not a theologian... please correct me if I\'m wrong.
This is only my second Lenten fast. Hopefully after lent I will be stronger in my faith, closer to God relationally and less judgmental of my brothers/sisters. I believe each of our pre/post Lenten experiences our individual and our reflective of where we are in our walk with God. We are each at different levels of understanding and experience and should be careful not to compare ourselves one to the other (unless for inspiration sake). Like the vegetation world becoming dormant during the winter months, nourishing and growing it\'s root system, in preparation to the coming growing season, I see the Lenten season doing just that in us...ever growing closer to God, yet taking on the ability and means, to do so. humbly in Christ, Jenn Elizabeth
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
After so many weeks of extra services, fasting etc, and Holy Week, then cold turkey withdrawal!
May be I am looking far ahead when I should be focusing on the here and now.
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