Beloved, In a short time we will once again embark on the sacred Lenten journey as we travel to be with the Apostles, who gathered around the funeral bier of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos. As prepare to rejoice in her glorious Dormition, let us pray and fast earnestly that we too may be purified and become radiant!

Words from the Fathers concerning the fast:

Do not say to me that I fasted for so many days, that I did not eat this or that, that I did not drink wine, that I endured want; but show me if thou from an angry man hast become gentle, if thou from a cruel man hast become benevolent. If thou art filled with anger, why oppress thy flesh? If hatred and avarice are within thee, of what benefit is it that thou drinkest water? Do not show forth a useless fast: for fasting alone does not ascend to heaven. – St. John Chrysostom

As a flame of fire in dry wood, so too is a body with a full belly. – St. Isaac the Syrian

Whosoever rejects the fasts, deprives himself and others of weapons against his own much-suffering flesh and against the devil, who have power over us especially as the result of our intemperance. St. John of Kronstadt

O brethren, as ye take up the spiritual fast, speak no deceit with your tongue, neither put a stumbling block in the way of your brother as an occasion for him to fall: but by repentance let us trim the lamp of our soul, that with tears we may cry unto Christ Forgive us our transgressions, since Thou art the Friend of man. –Vespers of Wednesday of the Second Week of Great Lent

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