In 2021, Lent begins on March 15 and lasts until May 1. Most of us refuse meat and dairy food during Lent, believing that this is the most important thing for fasting. In fact, everything is much more complicated. There are a number of conditions that must be met by those who really want to go the path of spiritual purification.
Despite the fact that food restrictions are an important part of Lent, its true meaning is not fasting at all. In order to be imbued with the spirit of purification and rethinking of one’s life, one must not only limit oneself in nutrition, but also engage in one’s spiritual life. Otherwise, it will not be fasting, but simply not a very successful diet: as practice shows, often such “fasting” people gain from 3 to 5 extra pounds.
So, what should not be done by those who treat Great Lent seriously and thoughtfully?
Great post — what not to do
1. You can’t quarrel, get annoyed, start strife, swear
As the monks say: “Eat meat while fasting, but don’t eat each other.” That is, for all the importance of bodily fasting, it is much more important to fast in such a way that you do not become exhausted from hunger and fatigue (and irritability usually appears at the same time) and because of this, do not “aggravate relations” with your neighbors. In the old days, during Lent, litigation was suspended, non-urgent operations were postponed, etc.
“Eat meat while fasting, but don’t eat each other,” “Fast with the spirit, not the belly,” – this is what folk wisdom and the holy elders teach us.
2. You can not arrange holidays (weddings, birthdays, housewarming parties, anniversaries, etc.), attend fun events.
Read also: Nutrition in fasting: how not to get better during fasting
During Lent, every believer should limit his pleasures and behave humbly, with concentration, in order to reconsider his life, cleanse himself of excesses and strengthen faith. The purpose of Great Lent is not to get rid of extra pounds, but to distract from extraneous thoughts about your own pleasure, including thoughts about food, in favor of thoughts about God.
Fasting food should be simple, and the meal should not be plentiful. You can not arrange pickles from lean food. Priests say that when one weakens (during fasting, this, of course, is the body), then the other strengthens. Many fasting people emphasize that this period really has a beneficial effect on the body. The mind is enlightened, lightness appears in the body.
“How much you take away from the body, so much you give strength to the soul,” wrote St. Basil the Great.
Try to limit TV viewing, participate less in social events, do not go to the theater and cinema. During the post you can not sing, dance, start games and various entertainment shows.
3. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, do not smoke.
There is no direct ban on alcohol during fasting. But the priests emphasize: alcohol liberates, a person loses control over himself, which prevents him from fulfilling the other requirements of behavior during fasting. That is why the use of alcohol in fasting is undesirable. The church also has a negative attitude towards smoking.
4. It is necessary to observe marital continence.
For a modern person, this is one of the most difficult restrictions, but in the old days it was strictly observed. This requirement is connected with the fact that during fasting the soul must be freed from everything that enslaves it. And sex is considered one of the addictions that deprives a person of will.
5. You can not boast of your post, teach others, demonstrate pride.
As Seraphim of Sarov said, «There is humility more than pride.» That is, if you emphasize your righteousness in every possible way, refusing, for example, to attend the anniversary of an elderly father, thereby you show pride and malice. Why not sincerely and wholeheartedly congratulate a loved one without participating in a cheerful feast, without taking alcohol and without sitting down at a richly laid table? It is also necessary to remember that fasting is not necessary for pregnant and lactating people, the elderly and sick people, as well as children who have not yet reached the age of fourteen.
“One can fast a lot, pray a lot and do a lot of good, but if we are conceited, then we will be like a tambourine that rattles, but is empty inside,” warned St. Silouan of Athos.
Great post — what can and should be done
1. Pray at least once a day. This will strengthen faith, help to more easily survive the restrictions associated with fasting.
2. Go to church. During Lent, you need to confess and take communion at least once. If the refusal of food cleanses the body, then these religious rituals contribute to the purification of the soul.
3. Do good deeds, support the old, the sick and the poor. It is said that alms in this world to the poor and the needy help our dead relatives in heaven. You can feed animals and birds, donate old things to orphanages, and make donations.
7 Rules for an Effective Spring Detox
Happy and fat: why women get fat in marriage
Winter Sorceress: 5 unusual properties of cranberries
The opinion of the editors may not coincide with the opinion of the author of the article.