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49 results for fasting found within the Blog

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Great Lent

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 13th February 2016 in fasting | Lent,Easter,fasting,Prayer,early church,early church fathers,paganism,pagan roots
fasting A spiritual and physical discipline   Update 2018: I recently published a book called 40 Days with the Fathers, which is a daily reading plan and an introduction to the Early Church Fathers that is spread across forty days, originally written as a Lenten reading plan. You can get a copy by clicking here. Lent 2016: Lent is upon us once again! Even though we are already four days into the fast (according to Western tradition) I thought it’d be good to write something on the discipline of fasting. And, much like any major holiday, there is the usual arguments and accusations about how it's all just pagan festivities with a "Christian mask". Eas...
 

fasting: A spiritual and physical discipline

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 27th May 2019 in fasting | fasting,didache,discipline,self control,Lent,early church,early church fathers
The topic of fasting often comes up in online discussion groups that I'm a part of, more often in Protestant circles where the practice is more often sidelined in low churches. So let's take a look at the practice of fasting from a practical and historical view, as it seems to be a spiritual discipline which has been pushed aside in many churches today, with prayer, worship and bible reading taking more precedence in a Christian's life instead (not that those are bad things to do!). Why fast? There are many reasons to fast, and recent studies have shown a lot of health benefits that can be derived from fasting. But on the spiritual side of life, there are also...
 

Is fasting an expectation for Christians?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 29th February 2020 in fasting | fasting,Lent,Ash Wednesday,self control,self denial
The season of Lent is here once again which of course brings up the topic of fasting, since the tradition of Lent comes from following Jesus’ example of his time in the wilderness (Luke 4:1–2). I wasn’t planning on writing anything specific this year like I have previous in previous years, but I felt inspired today at church from one of Gospel readings: Matthew 9:14–15 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is t...
 

Spiritual Disciplines of the Early Church: Ancient Practices for the 21st Century

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 17th June 2019 in Early Church |
...s regular fasting, since Jesus had said “when you fast”, not “if”. Typically, fasting was done every week on Wednesday and Friday, based on Matthew 6:16–18, and also to honour the days of the Passion and crucifixion in later tradition. “But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; … but fast on the fourth day (Wednesday) and the Preparation (Friday). … [But pray] as the Lord commanded in His Gospel (the Lord’s Prayer) … Thrice in the day thus pray.” Didache (c. 50 – 70) Alongside fasting, praying the Lord’s Prayer three times a day (morning, noon, evening) was a common discipline. From around the third century, liturgy and pra...
 

Lent Day 39: Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI)

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 14th April 2017 in Lent | Lent,great lent,fasting,early church fathers,devotional,daily reading,Doctor of the Church,lectures,Leo the Great,St Leo,Pope Leo I,sermon,almsgiving
...of people fasting to renew their faith and discipline in following Christ. Even those who had slipped into worldly cares, become lukewarm or were just weak in faith, “furnished [themselves] with spiritual armour” and renewed their enthusiasm! Through Jesus's victory on the cross, many people turned to faith, and so Satan was “driven from the hearts of those he once possessed” and was stripped of his power over such people. But as James wrote, “all of us make many mistakes” (James 3:2), so we must all be willing to forgive one another, in order that we don't violate the holy command in the Lord's prayer which we bind ourselves to, where it says, “f...
 

Does Easter Have Pagan Origins?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 22nd March 2021 in Easter | Easter,easter sunday,early church,church history,paganism,pagan roots,Ishtar,Eostre,fertility goddess
...y days of fasting. Athanasius had a custom of writing his “paschal (Easter) letters” to the churches at this time of year to give encouragement for fasting, self-control and moderation, linking the 40 days to the length of Jesus’ fast in the desert. His letters are useful as they show quite clearly that the time of Lent and Easter have been established for many centuries in the Church, and have nothing to do with paganism as they predate any Anglo-Saxon or German goddess by about 600 years (if they even existed)! The beginning of the fast of forty days is on the fifth of the month Phamenoth [Ash Wednesday]; and when, as I have said, we have first been pur...
 
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