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Amber Crystal

About Fasting

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I have always been interested in how Fasting is incorporated into our spiritual growth. How long we should fast and when we are allowed to eat. I know breakfast came from the term break fast, but I don't know if that reference was a spiritual thing or was it because it was coined at a time when there was little food to go around.

 

My cusin just told me that when Moses was in the presence of the lord and received the 10 commandments he was up in the mountains 40 day and 40 nights.Was this the spark that brought the idea of fasting to the attention in the old testament?

 

The best ordinary fasting is on plain food like Daniel. Catholics fast on bread and water as their plain food. This is part of humbling ourselves, by denying ordinary or fine food.

Ninevah was saved because the people humbled themselves before God. The King ordered that neither man or beast will eat or drink anything in hope that Lord would relent. The King himself fasted and sat in the ashes of a garbage heap, all his feasts cancelled, all his finery gone. He humbled himself before God." A humble and contrite heart you will not spurn".

Man gets entitled and prideful in bounty, and in pride he forgets his God and fellow man, his heart grows cold , fasting reminds us we are mortal in the realist sense, he realises he is not self sufficient but relies on Gods providence. A contrite man humbles himself, God recognises humble and rejects the proud. Satan recognises the proud and flees the humble.

 

There is also fasting from sleep, and comfort by sleeping on the floor, or the sacrificing of something we desire.

 

The reason fasting is effective on demons is because it is a humility, and satan and his being the essense of pride are terrified of humility along with purity.

 

The greatest fasting however is fasting from our human wills, denying our will to follow the leading of Christ's Will. A soul can not give to God more than this, he gives the Lord everything.

 

The Lord's Prayer should be at the heart of our spiritually each morning, we hand over our human will and ask to live in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, where His Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.

 

We can not live by the Spirit without self denial, when we are full of ourselves we can't be filled with The Spirit. We must deny ourselves take up our Cross and follow Christ to be crucified to self and our human wills. We must die to self to live in Christ.

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Self denial is of the Spirit, self indulgence is of the flesh.

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I have always been interested in how Fasting is incorporated into our spiritual growth. How long we should fast and when we are allowed to eat. I know breakfast came from the term break fast, but I don't know if that reference was a spiritual thing or was it because it was coined at a time when there was little food to go around.

 

My cusin just told me that when Moses was in the presence of the lord and received the 10 commandments he was up in the mountains 40 day and 40 nights.Was this the spark that brought the idea of fasting to the attention in the old testament?

 

There's both a physical and spiritual aspect of fasting. Especially if one fasts correctly and meditates on Scripture during the fast.

 

The longest fast I have ever accomplished was a month. I lost near 40 pounds in 30 days, my rear spine and vertebrae were exposed. My hind side looked like a dry hoof. The greatest thing that unveiled itself during my fast was my understanding of how dependent upon the Earth and the World I am. To truly fast, one severs ties with the World and even the Earth's sustenance. I really felt like chains were being broken after a week of no food, I felt unbound, and my mind became sharper. As my stomach pains from the hunger subsided it was clear that I was no longer dependent on these things, but my pupils became like meat as I fed off Scripture for near 8 hours a day. However, there was something greater I came to (this was also towards the beginning of my Christian journey). Though I felt unbound to the World and/or Earth, I felt my sin or a sense of filthiness more as I deepened my relationship with God. The contrast was incredible, as I never experienced the guilt of my sins as I had during this time. I can only imagine, to be in the presence of true Holiness, one would indeed cover up. It is no wonder to me why Seraphim cover faces and feet, or why Isaiah mentioned his unclean lips. When my mind turned idle when not engaged in Scripture, it was like movie which played key instances in my past for me to review. I couldn't believe my newfound criticism, as I attacked my person from every perspective, unveiling my sins, repenting and moving on to the next instance.

 

As for my Fast, it broke because I nearly lost my mind at the end of it. Family intervened and I was hospitalized (organs near shut down). I definitely do not recommend doing what I had done, as it was extreme, but I do not regret the experience.

 

God bless,

William

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I did a month fast when I was sick, all I had was electrolytes, but I used it for spiritual purposes. It wasn't as spiritually effective a fast as the plain food fast, but it was effective from the obedience side things following the doctors orders.

It caused quite a lot of suffering because others were eating wonderful things around me in that time. It turned out that the doctors advice was completely wrong and other doctors were horrified. But obedience is better than sacrifice, only my obedience was sacrifice, work that out.

 

Obedience is the key to spiritual advancement, it is real self denial. We can happily will ourselves through great ordeals on our terms, but find it very hard to go against our will to do the will of another.

 

People have asked for ordeals their spiritual advisers, and the spiritual adviser said no, and to do something else. Because the whole idea is self denial, people obey to self deny. So greater spiritual advancement is made by one act of obedience than by a stack of ordeals.

 

Monks are very lucky with this, as Dom Marmion said " I became monk in order to obey ". He could have been anything with his abilities and learning, but placed himself under the hardest regime of obedience.

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