The Beginning of the Nativity Fast (2012)

November 15 marks the beginning of the 40 day Nativity Lenten period.  Concerning fasting St. John Cassian (d. 435AD) offers what he considers to be the Tradition of the Church – since he was writing in the early 5th Century, he is speaking about the very early Church Tradition.  The Holy Fathers are the Desert Fathers from whom he learned the monastic life.

“I shall speak first about control of the stomach, the opposite to gluttony, and about how to fast and what and how much to eat. I shall say nothing on my own account, but only what I have received from the Holy Fathers. They have not given us only a single rule for fasting or a single standard and measure for eating, because not everyone has the same strength; age, illness or delicacy of body create differences. But they have given us all a single goal: to avoid over-eating and the filling of our bellies. They also found a day’s fast to be more beneficial and a greater help toward purity than one extending over a period of three, four, or even seven days. Someone who fasts for too long, they say, often end up by eating too much food. The result is that at times the body becomes enervated through undue lack of food and sluggish over its spiritual exercises, while at other times, weighed down by the mass of food it has eaten, it makes the soul listless and slack.”    (The Philokalia: Volume One, pg. 73)

Links to all of this year’s blogs related to the Nativity of Christ can be found at Christmas Blogs 2012.

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2 Responses to The Beginning of the Nativity Fast (2012)

  1. Pingback: Orthodox Collective

  2. Pingback: Nativity Blogs 2012 | Fr. Ted's Blog

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