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Holy Great Lent. 3 Main Pillars of Lent. Fasting Prayer Almsgiving (charity) (Taken from Sermon on the Mount). Theology of Fasting. Fasting means to abstain Read Galatians 5:16-17

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3 main pillars of lent
3 Main Pillars of Lent
  • Fasting
  • Prayer
  • Almsgiving (charity)

(Taken from Sermon on the Mount)

theology of fasting
Theology of Fasting
  • Fasting means to abstain
  • ReadGalatians 5:16-17

16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.

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15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].

16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it.

17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.

18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]

19 For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing.

Romans (7:15-19)

st john the short
St. John the Short
  • 'If a king wanted to take possession of his enemy's city, he would begin by cutting off the water and food and so his enemies, dying of hunger, would submit to him. It is the same with the passions of the flesh; if a man goes about fasting and hungry, the enemies of his soul [anger, pride, revenge, boasting, lustful desires, etc.] grow weak.'
correct asceticism
Correct Asceticism
  • Asceticism means to “exercise”
  • Need to correct negative connotation of Lent
  • Lent is a “positive” exercise to “feed the Spirit” and “unite the Body of Christ”
prayer
Prayer
  • Beware of the “fast of demons”
  • Different forms of prayer:
    • scriptural
    • liturgical (corporate)
    • personal
    • praises
    • thanksgiving
    • intercessory
on prayer
On Prayer
  • The brothers asked Abba Agathon: “Amongst all our different activities, father, which is the virtue that requires the greatest effort?” He answered: “Forgive me, but I think there is no labor greater than praying to God. For every time a man wants to pray, his enemies the demons try to prevent him; for they know that nothing obstructs them so much as prayer to God. In everything else that a man undertakes, if he perseveres, he will attain rest. But in order to pray a man must struggle to his last breath.”
principles on prayer
Principles on Prayer
  • It takes time
  • It takes patience (do not try to do too much)
    • Grow in your prayer little by little
  • It takes perseverance
  • It takes listening
  • It takes discipleship
almsgiving
Almsgiving
  • Why is giving so important?
  • If I am going to become a new person in Christ; a major area that needs to die is my selfishness.
  • Giving makes me more like God
  • Read Isaiah 58:6-10
must have a plan
Must Have A Plan

Outside Plan/Inside Plan

  • Outside plan = spiritual exercises
  • Inside plan = the areas of my old man that I need to work on
  • Goal = directing the spiritual exercises toward the old man that must be crucified
questions to ask
Questions to Ask
  • What makes me angry?
  • What depresses me or gets me down?
  • What makes me stressed out?
  • What brings me anxiety?
  • What bothers me?
  • What things can’t I do without?
  • What addictions do I have?
  • What motivates me?
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let on your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice (greediness). Let the feet fast by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ear fast by not listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers? St. John Chrysostom.