Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog

A journey through our Orthodox faith as we live it every day

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Entries Tagged as 'Fasting'

The Great Fast – by Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver

February 28th, 2014 No Comments

Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver

Metropolitan Isaiah – photo courtesy of Vladimir Grigorenko

As we enter into the holiest period of the year in preparation for the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we ask ourselves, “Why should we follow the discipline of fasting, which in essence is abstinence?” What is the purpose of it? Obviously the purpose is that we may be ready to meet our Lord and to receive His promise of eternal life in His Kingdom.

We realize, according to Holy Scripture, that we were created to live forever; and that we will live eternally after the return of Christ to the earth, with our resurrected bodies reunited with our souls. The… Continue reading

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Miley Cyrus and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

August 29th, 2013 2 Comments

beheadingThe entire Internet is still in a state of consternation after the recent performance of Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards. Since I am way past the MTV viewers median age, I found out about it from a post on a social network. Although I was bracing myself for something inappropriate, I was in for a surprise. In fact, it was so painful that I could not watch more than a few seconds of the recording. It hurts deeply to see a beautiful young woman like her descending so low on the scale of decency. The only thing on my mind was: why? I saw in her all the lost daughters of the world that allowed themselves to be… Continue reading

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Lent – an intimate journey to God. Lessons from the sermon on the mount

March 1st, 2013 2 Comments

Crucifixion_of_Jesus,_Russian_icon_by_Dionisius,_1500What is Lent? By most popular definitions lent is a period  of abstinence, total or partial, from food. It is basically a diet. If it is not understood as a diet, then is often considered  a period of renunciation to some of our guilty pleasures like tv, chocolate etc. The Christian understanding of fasting however and especially the Orthodox one, is  much more complex than simply “giving up” something .

So what is Lent? Of course during Lent we renounce some types of foods like meat, dairy products etc.  This is an important part of our lenten journey, not to be forgotten or neglected; it helps the body become swifter and,  less encumbered by heavy foods, it can rise faster to prayer… Continue reading

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Fasting for Freedom or Growing Wings for God

February 28th, 2012 No Comments

This article is not about Ghandi and the independence of India; is not about hunger strikes and the upholding of civil rights; but it is an attempt to restore to its former heights an overlooked tool for spiritual development, recommended by generations upon generations of Holy Fathers and spiritual elders.

Upon hearing the word “fast” today, one doesn’t think of freedom, on the contrary, the discipline of fasting is more associated with coercion, restriction and limitation of choices. This is the primary reason why so many people do not even consider fasting in their development as Christian.

From a material point of view however this is what fasting is: we abstain from certain foods, or even all… Continue reading

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Lent as transforming expectation

March 5th, 2011 No Comments

But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit. (2Co 3:18)
Coming back home the other day, I observed with great joy that some trees on my street started to blossom. I was immediately moved to think: the winter is over, spring is here! All the cold weather, all the snow and the ice is gone. But, the thought continued, if we won’t pass through winter we couldn’t appreciate spring in its fullness.

One the most beautiful celebrations in Japan is the cherry blossom festival. People gather from afar to be… Continue reading

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Loosing weight and saving your soul in the process

January 27th, 2011 No Comments

There is no secret that I could loose some weight. I’ll admit it. Getting back into my ideal measurements is as much of a challenge for me as for anyone despite the claims of the insatiable industry that has developed behind this apparently simple goal. From the classical low calorie diet to the latest fashion in Hollywood dieting, we are sold out of the box, unfailing solutions that will miraculously make us loose those unsolicited extra pounds. But they all fail in most people with, of course, some notable exceptions.

I always wandered why this is and couldn’t find a satisfying answer until a few days ago when I stumbled over a book written by a “diet survivor”… Continue reading

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Fasting abundantly

January 30th, 2010 3 Comments

The idea that any Westerner has about fasting is strongly linked with renunciation, with giving-up, with sacrificing something for God. In the Eastern Orthodox Church however, fasting achieves a much richer meaning. Fasting is not only about giving-up, but it is actually more about gaining, about being able to reach things that are possible only through this spiritual exercise.

In a legalistic understanding of salvation some believe that Christ has come on earth to fulfill a duty, to repair an offense that man has brought unto God. His sacrifice on the Cross satisfies this need and mankind enters again in God’s favors. From this perspective fasting is a similar symbol: a personal sacrifice that one makes to step back… Continue reading

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