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WHY WE FAST
Fasting is a discipline that helps us grow closer to God and at the same time is a way we show our love towards God. It is not a bunch of rules to follow in Pharisaical type manner. If that were the case, all of the vegans who “fast” year round would be super holy! We fast to simplify our lives, to make more time for God, and to deny ourselves in order to feel hungry and unsatisfied in our flesh. This should lead us to hunger for God who alone can fulfill our deepest desires.
Because fasting is a discipline one has to be able to safely, and knowingly, take on the discipline. Infants and small children cannot properly enter into the fasting discipline. Neither can people with health issues (pregnant and nursing mothers included). This doesn’t mean that young children (absolutely not infants) and people with health issues cannot in some way observe the fast. In my own experience as a diabetic and a monk, I personally have had to modify my own fasting. Eating meat during Lent while cooking vegan meals for my brothers has humbled me. Reminding me of my own dependence on God and the need to be obedient to my Abbot who has forbidden me from keeping the traditional fast. Not that I eat filet mignon or anything like that; I eat what I must for my health and keep things simple.
HT Holy Resurrection Monastery