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The Spirituality of Fasting, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
44- Avoiding Lost Time
There are one who wastes time. To him, time is trivial, wasted without benefit. This is his primary sin. He thus, neither prays, reads, nor has any spiritual contemplation. Consequently, spiritual laxity, and perhaps slipping into sin may ensue.
Such a person may say to himself: While fasting, I want to train myself to resist wasting my time and to make use of it. How can this be done?
Salvage the time lost in talking with people, in meetings, visitations, in useless discussions and in reading magazines and newspapers and expressing your view on their contents. The time wasted in listening in to the radio, watching television, and doing other dispensable and recreational things, should be used to do spiritual work for God.
We all know how we waste time, and therefore can best determine how best to save it as an integral part of his life. Let this then train ourselves on this point while we fast, God willing.
This drill helps us another way in fasting of the tongue.
Saint Isaac said that to fast the tongue is better than to fast the mouth. If you realise this, you will train yourself to remain silent as long as you can. If you are unable to do so, then use the following three exercises:
(a) Do not initiate a conversation except when necessary.
(b) Give short answers.
(c) Occupy your mind with some spiritual thought that will help you keep silent.
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