Challenge the great Liar.

Often I don’t have the words or confidence to write about Orthodox spirituality, so today I am just going to quote Fr. Schmemann, whose books have helped me so much.

 …fasting is the only means by which man recovers his true spiritual nature. It is not a theoretical but truly a practical challenge to the great Liar who managed to convince us that we depend on bread alone and built all human knowledge, science, and existence on that lie. Fasting is a denunciation of that lie and also proof that it is a lie….
Let us understand …that what the Church wants us to do during Lent is to seek the enrichment of our spiritual and intellectual inner world, to read and to meditate upon those things which are most likely to help us recover that inner world and its joy. Of that joy, of the true vocation of man, the one that is fulfilled inside and not outside, the ‘modern world’ gives us no taste today; yet without it, without the understanding of Lent as a journey into the depth of our humanity, Lent loses its meaning.

from Great Lent by Father Alexander Schmemann

9 thoughts on “Challenge the great Liar.

  1. Thank you for sharing! It makes me think that we indeed need to fast from all food…even bread to start. It's very difficult being a mother to children who would struggle. I remember my father fasting, having only water, and being the most strict on Holy and Great Friday.


  2. Martha, it's interesting that it is your father whom you remember fasting so strictly, and not your mother. Maybe she couldn't be as strict and still have the strength to care for the children and the household. I understand, though, that everyone is different, and I know that some people are very competent physically while fasting.


  3. It's a great insight to realize that fasting is one way to show that the devil is a liar. He does, indeed, try to convince us that bread is our sustenance rather than God. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  4. I love coming here and reading your words, and the manner in which you quote others; especially during this Lenten season when I am intentionally mindful of my sin and what it cost my LORD.
    Satan is a liar and deceiver, and I appreciate seeing that truth even in the matter of fasting. I do not know if I completely agree with fasting being “the only means by which man recovers his true spiritual nature”, but I will study and meditate on that thought. Fasting is entertwined throughout the Old Testament as a means of spiritual life. Jesus fasted for forty days and nights at the beginning of His earthly ministry, as well as times of regular fasting. He said in Matthew 17:21, “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” This comment could get very long, so I will express I am only a beginner student, but I worship Him even this moment.
    Thank you for the time you put into posting.


  5. Fr. Schmemann does say it so very well, doesn't he. Always finding new insights every time I read one of his books (which is over and over because they hold so much).


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