The best fast is this.

The best fast is to patiently endure everything that God sends.

-St. Anatoly of Optina

St. Anatoly knew what it was to endure; he was arrested by the Bolsheviks and his monastery was closed in the 1920’s. I only today read about him after seeing the quote above in this calendar I’ve been using lately, at the top of the page for April 1. So many readings for Lent take on new significance this year.

If you want to learn more of his story it is here.

5 thoughts on “The best fast is this.

  1. Thinking about the introductory quotation, I remembered the opening lines of a poem about patience which I learned (the poem, I mean, not patience– at least not yet ). I may even have mentioned it previously. It comes back to me often. Composed in the late 19th C. by G.M.Hopkins, it still has a wide appeal, I believe. This is how it begins:

    PATIENCE, hard thing! the hard thing but to pray,
    But bid for, Patience is! Patience who asks
    Wants war, wants wounds; weary his times, his tasks;
    To do without, take tosses, and obey.  

    From his life story, it almost seems that St. Anatoly was more peaceful in his patience, but that’s probably because he hid the war part, the wounds, and the inevitable weariness. He must have been a great source of comfort and encouragement. Thanks for bringing him to our attention. I think I’ll replace the Hopkins poem in my memory with that quotation. I will benefit from a more positive approach.

    Liked by 1 person

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