Understanding Fasting

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Didi

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I am wondering how many of you practice fasting on a regular basis. Other than no meat on Fridays and the one hour fast before communion, and the occasional day of giving up snacks for a certain petition, it is not something I regularly do and would like more information on why it is important, how to do it, how long and how often some of you fast.

I understand the concept of giving something up, and offering up that sacrifice to God, but I have heard others talk about the need for us to fast and pray and am wondering if anyone can shed some more light on this subject.

Thanks! :confused:
 
I think in America, Catholics are called to fast thruought the year, except that aside from Lent, we can decide what to give up I go without meat on Fridays… well, except today… I had an Italian Sausage… :eek: …so to balance it out I gave up my usual dish of ice cream after dinner. 😉
 
Our family keeps the meatless Friday fast. We generally try to keep it in an unappealing way, too. (grilled cheese, ugh)

There was a time when I was fasting on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays, as per Mary’s request at Medj. I think I stopped when I became pregnant a couple of children ago. It was a practice that was beneficial, though. I wasn’t doing it for a particular intention of my own so it wasn’t selfishly motivated (NOT that fasting for an intention is selfish!) and it helped me to break habits and food addictions, leading me to a more detached way of living.

There is an excellent little book on fasting, called Fasting by Fr. Slavko Barbaric.
 
Isn’t giving up meat on Friday’s actually a form of abstinence? Is there a more general rule of the fast, different from the the way the term is used on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, that is used on a more regular basis?
 
Yes, in this discussion, I’d say “fast” is being used more along the lines of a sacrificial offering up. Abstinence would be a closer understanding of it, I guess. One could “fast” from TV, music, internet (eek)… Fasting from food seems to be the most commonly understood. One could fast from one entire meal, from in~between~meal snacking, from all beverages except water, or from all food in a day. Being soft on ourselves, and in prudence, because of duties that must be attended to, we “fast” on bread and water when that is all we consume in a day.
 
A different perspective…

As a Byzantine Catholic, we have 4 fasts a year. In our church year (which starts on Sept. 1), we are approaching our 3rd of the 4. (In fact it starts tomorrow).

This is taken right our of today’s bulletin at my church:

“The Apostles Fast”
Historically, the Apostles Fast, often called “Peter & Paul’s Lent” begins this evening after vespers and lasts until June 28th. The length of the Apostles Fast varies with the date of Pascha, [Easter] beginning after The Feast of All Saints [Today]. This time of renewal is one of the four ‘lents’ traditionally offered by the Byzantine Church; the other being Great Lent (the forty days before Holy Week and Pascha), Phillip’s Fast/Advent (the forty days before Christmas) and Dormition Fast (the two weeks before the feast of the Dormition [Assumption] of the Mother of God on August 15th).

What the Byzantine Catholic Fasts entail are the following.
No Meat OR Dairy products on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The Strict Fast for Great and Holy Lent is for No Meat OR Dairy products from Monday through Friday. We also carry out the usual Friday fast every Friday, and the fast before Communion is also observed.

In the Byzantine Catholic Church, the spiritual life of monasticism is encouraged for ALL in one form or another. So the four fasts help us to remember that throughout the year, we are ‘offering it up’ in our prayers and reduction of foods. Also what is most intersting is that the two minor fasts (Apostles’ Fast and the Dormition Fast) occures when the days are the longest, and the two major fasts (Phillips and the Great Fast), occurj when the days are the longest. Why? It tests our will and the temptations to eat are the strongest in the Winter months.

I hope this puts things into perspective about your fellow Catholics of the Eastern Catholic Church.

Go with God!
Edwin
 
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Charles:
Thanks Edwin. That was all new to me!
Charles, The Byzantine Catholic Church has a more spiritual base but STILL Catholic. Being truly Catholic is to experience ‘both lungs of the Catholic Church.’ "Orentiale Lumen…JP2 1995.
I was educated in Roman Rite schools and just returned Byzantine in Oct. 2002. So I have experienced half my life as Roman and now with the Byzantine RIte…for me, I couldn’t seem any more complete.

Fasting and prayer is what is needed to defeat Satan. If anyone has a problem with fasting, just visit a Byzantine Church and talk to a priest. Maybe you can find some insight that can help in your spiritual life. Sure the fasting is tougher, but the rewards are worth it!

Go with God!
Edwin
 
Very interesting, Edwin… I’ll be looking forward to learning more about the Byzantine Rite through your posts.
 
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Edwin1961:
Fasting and prayer is what is needed to defeat Satan. If anyone has a problem with fasting, just visit a Byzantine Church and talk to a priest. Maybe you can find some insight that can help in your spiritual life. Sure the fasting is tougher, but the rewards are worth it!

Go with God!
Edwin
Thank you, Edwin, I think I may do that. This may sound like a strange question, but how do I find a Byzantine Church – are they listed as such in the phone book or is there a web site I can go to?
 
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Didi:
Thank you, Edwin, I think I may do that. This may sound like a strange question, but how do I find a Byzantine Church – are they listed as such in the phone book or is there a web site I can go to?
I originally started a thread called ‘Byzantine Catholic Church’ and nothing has posted in a while, so I thought about just going to thread to thread checking out the topics.

Here are a few web sites:
byzcath.org
catholic-forum.com/members/popestleo/dailyprayer.html
catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dparu.html
ALSO do a Google search with the words, Byzantine Catholic Church and include the name of your city OR just look in the phone book.

Hope this helps
Go with God!
Edwin
 
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Didi:
Thank you, Edwin, I think I may do that. This may sound like a strange question, but how do I find a Byzantine Church – are they listed as such in the phone book or is there a web site I can go to?
P.S. My Pastor has radio program that is on Sundays 6:30AM EST and it repeats 11:00PM also on Sunday.
You can actually hear it on this site:
welw.com
They also have the rosary at 5:45AM EST every morning!
Besides, they have great oldies music during the week!

Go with God!
Edwin
 
To my knowledge, Fasting to me is all about selfless love… like Jesus did for us. On E5 men/women they fast every first Saturday of the month. It is an act of selfless love for their future spouse, or even their spouse they have now.
I think that it is a great thing to get into…😉
 
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SarahSmile:
On E5 men/women they fast every first Saturday of the month. It is an act of selfless love for their future spouse, or even their spouse they have now
Thanks to everyone for your help!

SarahSmile – What is E5? :confused:
 
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SarahSmile:
To my knowledge, Fasting to me is all about selfless love… like Jesus did for us. On E5 men/women they fast every first Saturday of the month. It is an act of selfless love for their future spouse, or even their spouse they have now.
I think that it is a great thing to get into…😉
Having just joined e5, they are also doing the first Wednesday of each month, SarahSmile. They even have a section for men/women to fast for others who have no one to fast for them . . .

Everone can find more info here :

e5men.org/
 
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