Friday, March 11, 2011

Do you fast?

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 only 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.
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?

May He who came to the world to save sinners, strengthen us to
complete the fast with humility! Have mercy on us and save us.

~John Chrysostom, (347-407 a.d.)


  1. I love this.

    I learned, while struggling with an eating disorder years ago, that fasting from meals was NOT a good option for me. I have never pressured myself to do it, since then. I love this way of looking at it. "Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?"

  2. I love this too. I have been having a strange Lenten fast and this fits right in with what seems to be happening all on its own. I have been feasting, REALLY feasting, with my mouth and so I felt some guilt from it. But I have been fasting in many other areas. This from St. John of Chrys. makes me think perhaps it's not all bad after all. :)

  3. I just love this: "For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?" Wonderful!!