Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fasting Without Fasting?

May 31st began the Apostles’ Fast, or St. Peter’s Fast.  I did not know much about this fast until now. 408px-DidacheI learned more about it this morning from wikipedia.  As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”  Each day, month, year I am learning more and more about the practice of the Eastern Catholic Tradition.  I have discovered that a vast majority of these traditions were set in place before the schism and therefore are the oldest faith practices of the Church.

In short, this fast begins after the Pascha Feasting.  It is in remembrance of the Apostles’ preparation to preach the Gospel after the Ascension.  The practice of it “The Apostles' Fast is not as severe as Great Lent or the Dormition Fast, but entails fasting from red meat, poultry, meat products, eggs, dairy products, fish, oil, and wine. Fish, wine and oil are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, and oil and wine are allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.” (wiki)

As a pregnant woman, I struggle with what to do, as I did with Great Fast.  I have found that nothing deepens one’s spirituality like abstaining from essentials like food.  Giving up red meat at the moment is not an option.  I was quite low on energy last week and finally increased my red meat intake and I am feeling much better.  I find that fasting from vices (bad habits) is not as effective either.  I soon lose interest in whatever it was, because it was not as essential to my life—it is hardly missed.  Nevertheless, I will resolve to give up sweets and coffee, except on the weekends.  More prayer and observance of all things holy would obviously be great too.  But, that is where fasting is so great—every meal, every hunger pang is a certain and cutting reminder of the need to pray and move closer to the Lord.  What will remind me now to pray?

1 comment:

Michelle M. said...

I have basically been pregnant or nursing ever since we've been Orthodox. It has been hard to find a balance between eating the healthy things that I need and fasting. The giving up of sweets and coffee is a good one. I've done that in the past. This fast, I am giving up meat, but I continue to eat dairy because my little man hardly eats any solids yet besides his prescribed cereal and table foods that he nibbles on. He just isn't interested and I don't want to push it too much. All that to say, keep doing what you are doing. Read, pray and fast as you can.