This is the last week of Lent. I haven’t been as diligent about posting about Great Lent and this week I’ve struggled with finding an F topic for Blogging through the Alphabet. I tried writing a post about Orthodox Fasting and Orthodox Feasting but I just couldn’t seem to get where I wanted to go with the idea.
This morning I found this on Facebook on the All Merciful Savior Orthodox Christian Monastery Page:Abbot Tryphon says it so much better than I could! You can read his blog The Morning Offering and if you scroll to April 2nd you'll find the full post for the following suggestions
FAST from self-concern and FEAST on compassion for others.
FAST from discouragement and FEAST on hope.
... FAST from lethargy and FEAST on enthusiasm.
FAST from suspicion and FEAST on truth.
FAST from thoughts that weaken and FEAST on promises that inspire.
FAST from shadows of sorrow and FEAST on the sunlight of serenity.
FAST from idle gossip and FEAST on purposeful silence.
FAST from problems that overwhelm you and FEAST on prayer that sustains.
FAST from criticism and FEAST on praise.
FAST from self-pity and FEAST on joy.
FAST from ill-temper and FEAST on peace.
FAST from resentment and FEAST on contentment.
FAST from jealousy and FEAST on love.
FAST from pride and FEAST on humility.
FAST from selfishness and FEAST on service.
When I think of fasting and feasting I tend to think about food. This is the last week of Lent but it isn’t the last week of the fast. As we approach Holy Week in the Orthodox church my mind leaps ahead to the feasting we’ll do on Pascha and during Bright Week. When I served “fake meat” tacos earlier this week, one of the children said “You know what I want during Bright Week? Tacos. With REAL meat.”
But the preparation of the greatest Feast in the Church is about so much more than food. It’s about repenting from our sinful ways and turning back to God. It’s about learning how to develop self-discipline or as a friend has quoted “taming our inner toddler” (I just love that phrase!)
I needed to read Abbot Tryphon’s words to remind me of the true meaning and purpose of fasting and I needed the suggestions for feasting.