The Primary Aim of Fasting

The following quote, the words of Mother Mary and Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, comes from Fr Josiah Trenham’s site, The Arena.

“The primary aim of fasting is to make us conscious of our dependence upon God. If practiced seriously, the Lenten abstinence from food- particularly in the opening days- involves a considerable measure of real hunger, and also a feeling of tiredness and physical exhaustion. The purpose of this is to lead us in turn to a sense of inward brokenness and contrition; to bring us, that is, to the point where we appreciate the full force of Christ’s statement, ‘Without Me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). If we always take our fill of food and drink, we easily grow over-confident in our abilities, acquiring a false sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency. The observance of a physical fast undermines this sinful complacency.”

Fr Josiah notes: In coming issues of the ARENA you will excerpts like this above from the classic article written by Mother Mary and Metropolitan (then Archimandrite) Kallistos Ware introducing The Lenten Triodion published originally in 1978 by Faber and Faber Limited, reprinted by St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press in 1994.

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