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

7- Nations also fasted Image: Coptic Art: Jonah and the whale صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: يونان والحوت - من الفن القبطي Image: Coptic Art: Jonah and the whale

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: يونان والحوت - من الفن القبطي

An outstanding example of this is the fast of the people of Nineveh (Jon 3) and how God accepted it and forgave their sins.

Another example is the fast of Cornelius the Centurion (Acts 10:30) which God accepted and sent to him the Apostle Peter who preached and baptised him.

The Old Testament tells us about the fast of King Darius during Daniel's ordeal and how he “spent the night fasting; and no musicians were brought before him.” (Dan 6:18).

Fasting is known in every religion. It was even known in heathen and primitive religions, and indicates that fasting was known before the dispersal of nations and religions.

Anyone reading about Buddhism, Brahmanism, Confucianism, and about Yoga comes across solid examples of fasting and of subduing the body for the soul to take its course. Fasting to them is an exercise for the body and for the soul.

In the life of the famous spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi, we see that his fasting was the most manifest and distinctive feature of his life which he often used when faced with problems, and we have discussed this issue before here on in other pages. Doctors once told him that his blood had started to disintegrate after a long period of fasting.

Through fasting Yogis were able to discover some of the strength of the soul.

Hampered by one's care for the body the strength and power of the soul have only been discovered through fasting.

Hindus believe that the supreme state of Nirvana or the release of the soul from the body to become one with God can only be accomplished through intense asceticism, abstinence, and fasting.

Thus we see that even a soul that is far from the work of the Holy Spirit, and free from bodily desires and its control, becomes a strong, able to attain some of its original natural potential. How much more so is the soul, which is in communion with the Spirit of God?

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