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Fasting (Great Lent, Forgiveness, Giving)


“Two matters concerning forgiveness must be settled prior to commencing the Lenten Fast: our need to be forgiven and our need to forgive. The aim of the fast is to assist us in embracing the Lord’s “propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 Jn 2:2) which does cleanse “from all unrighteousness” (vs. 1:9). God calls us to repent and confess (Acts 3:19), for He forgives when we forgive. And “if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mt 6:15).” (Dynamis 3/2/2020)

“The gift of God's forgiveness is received through private prayer, corporate worship, the disciplines of prayer and fasting, penitential services and above all through the sacrament of Holy Confession…We confess our sins to God and the power of forgiveness is God's. However, the gift of God's forgiveness, although assured, is not magical. It does not automatically spare us from spiritual struggle - the continual vigilance against evil and the unceasing warfare against sin. Holy Confession will bear fruits in the Spirit only when the believer hates evil, utterly rejects sin and patiently cultivates positive habits of the life in Christ. "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ Jesus. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wicked ness, but yield yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life" (Rm 6:11, 13)” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Religious Education)

“Before we enter the Lenten fast, we are reminded that there can be no true fast, no genuine repentance, no reconciliation with God, unless we are at the same time reconciled with one another. A fast without mutual love is the fast of demons. We do not travel the road of Lent as isolated individuals but as members of a family. Our asceticism and fasting should not separate us from others, but should link us to them with ever-stronger bonds.” (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese)

“Prayer and fasting should in their turn be accompanied by almsgiving - by love for others expressed in practical form, by works of compassion and forgiveness… for without love towards others there can be no genuine fast. And this love for others should not be limited to formal gestures or to sentimental feelings, but should issue in specific acts of almsgiving.” (Mother Mary and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

“If we treasure forgiveness from God, our heart will be full of forgiveness for our fellow humans. During Great Lent, we are offered the opportunity to serve others willingly. We can more effectively serve if we are forgiving, not holding grudges. Forgiving others and serving them restores our relationship with them, and opens our hearts to receive forgiveness from God…During Lent we are invited to eat less and pray more, giving Him our attention instead of seeking the attention of others or looking to food for satisfaction. Working to control our physical body’s desires and spending more time and energy in prayer restores our relationship to God…During Great Lent, we are encouraged to do a better job of giving alms. Almsgiving lays up for us treasures in Heaven, while also blessing us with the opportunity to extend love to our fellow humans, and in doing so, to Christ Himself. Letting go of earthly things and earthly cares restores our ability to care for what is important to God: His creatures, His creation, and His Kingdom.” (Kristina Wenger)

#Dynamis #GreekOrthodoxArchdiocese #MotherMary #MetropolitanKallistosWare #KristinaWenger

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