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Monday, April 4, 2011

St. John Climacus on Fasting

"To fast is to do violence to nature.  It is to do away with whatever pleases the palate.  Fasting ends lust, roots out bad thoughts, frees one from evil dreams.  Fasting makes for purity of prayer, an enlightened soul, a watchful mind, a deliverance from blindness.  Fasting is the door of compunction, humble sighing, joyful contrition, an end to chatter, an occasion for silence, a custodian of obedience, a lightening of sleep, health of the body, an agent of dispassion, a remission of sins, the gate, indeed, the delight of Paradise."

"A silly person feels hurt when accused or shouted at. He tries to answer back or else at once apologizes to his accuser, not for reasons of humility but to put a stop to his reproaches. In fact you should be silent when ridiculted. Accept patiently these spiritual cauterizations, or rather, purifying flames. And when the doctor has done his work, ask him to forgive you, for he may not accept your apology when he is angry.
Those of us who live in community must fight by the hour against all the passions and especially against these two: a mania for gluttony and bad temper. There is plenty of food for these passions in a community."

 -  St. John Climacus

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