A Spiritual Message from Fr Jonothan:
Fasting in JOY
Proper fasting is to be done in Joy. It is an important element in any Christian fasting.
Just before lent starts, a lady in the congregation came to me joyfully asking ‘What is my canon this year for lent, Abouna?’. Many come to me asking the same question but the special thing about this lady is her JOY.
I tried to picture the journey her mind and soul undertook to discover why she is joyful. I came up with the following:
She is joyful because;
- She shares with Jesus His fasting and His retreat on the mountain. How sweet is that!
- She enjoys the church services more during lent. The church, for some reason, is more holy.
- She partially cut herself off from the world, its destructive news and stories; because of this she feels happier and more holy.
- She spends more time than usual in prayers and thinking of God, bringing her peace.
- Yes, she feels hungry for most of the days, but for some reason this promotes a spirit of humility.
- She prepares herself for the day of Salvation. As You, Jesus, are suffering instead of me on the cross on Good Friday, I have only shared (very slightly) in this suffering during lent. I desire to practically show that I am responsible for Your cross, so I share the pain with You.
- She has experienced how joyful the Easter celebration is when she has fasted with the church; so she is looking forward to that heavenly joy.
Fast and see which of the above experiences works for you too. I pray you experience all of them with the fasting church.