Beginning of Nativity (St Philip’s) Fast 2014 Repose of St Herman of Alaska A Joyous Fast to All!
A Joyous Nativity Fast to All! Here are some NW recipe sites to help with the fast.
The Fast is a time to increase our Charity. Indeed all of us will receive mail from groups we have never heard of so I have enclosed a link to Charity Watch so you can see how some larger Charities fare:
Charity Watch–Helping you give wisely to charity.
Here are a few charities that one may want to remember:
Haiti Orthodox Family Relief–The Russian Mission to Haiti is run on a shoestring, the Priests and teachers need assistance. This is one Charity that will not overwhelm you with requests and mailers.
Hands of Humanity–REACH OUT AND CHANGE PEOPLES LIVES! The Life You Change May Be Your Own! A Local NW Charity that helps Haiti and other Central American Countries.
“Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou” (Many hands make the load lighter) – Haitian Proverb
Camp Agape NW–A local NW organization that supports children with cancer and their families.
Hogar Rafael Ayou–The Guatemalen Orphanage run by nuns. Several NW families have adopted from or visited this orphanage and have only good things to say.
There are far more that could be listed including your local diocese, parish and monastery. But I pray these may be listed without offense to others.
FROM A HOMILY BY ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM:
“When the fast makes its appearance, like a kind of spiritual summer, let us soldiers burnish our weapons, and as harvesters sharpen our sickles, and as sailors order our thoughts against the waves of extravagant desires, and as travellers set out on the journey towards heaven…I speak not of such a fast as most men keep, but of real fasting; not merely abstinence from meats, but from sins as well…. Fasting is medicine. But like all medicines, though it be very profitable to the person who knows how to use it, it frequently becomes useless (and even harmful) in the hands of him who is unskilled in its use….For the honor of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices, since he who limits his fasting only to abstinence from meats is one who especially disparages fasting.
Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. By what kind of works? If you see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see an enemy, be reconciled to him. If you see a friend gaining honor, do not be jealous of him. If you see a beautiful woman, pass her by. And let not only the mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the hands and all members of your bodies.
Let your hands fast by being pure from plundering and avarice. Let the feet fast by ceasing from running to unlawful spectacles. Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves with strange beauties. For looking is the food of the eyes, but if it be such as is unlawful or forbidden, it mars the fast and upsets the whole safety of the soul…For it would be among things most absurd to abstain from lawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to touch what is even forbidden!…Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in refusing to receive evil speaking and calumnies…. Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers?” (From Parish Bulletin of the Parish of the Holy Cross-Yakima, Wa 2012)