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The Spirituality of Fasting, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

37- Asceticism


Man may abstain from food but craves it. Therefore there is no gain in abstinence from food but in renouncing it.

Rising above the level of eating leads one to abstinence from and letting go of food. In turn, this leads to the virtue of detachment. Nevertheless, what should you do if you cannot accomplish renunciation and detachment?

If you cannot achieve renunciation and detachment, then at least give up something for the sake of God.

Adam and Eve were required to keep away from one fruit. It was not an issue of abstinence from food or one item of it but a sort of training to renounce everything for God's sake...

As for you when you fast, what can you renounce for God's sake, for His love and for the preservation of His commandments?

God is not is need of your renunciation of anything. However, by doing this, you show your love for God in profound and practical way, and for the sake of His love, you sacrificed your desires.

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