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The Spirituality of Fasting, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
41- Drills Pertaining to Fasting
The purpose of these drills is to pursue a sound and developing fast.
Some of these drills pertain to self-control.
They may include stopping oneself from eating certain kinds of food that one covets. This may mean a total stop throughout the fasting period, a partial stop during a limited period or on a certain day, a reduction of the quantity of the food, or abstinence from a certain item of food.
Self-control drills may include the length of abstinence, its conditions and self-development during such a period. Some people resort to a system of gradual progression even within one fast. Lent for example, covers eight weeks during which one may gradually advance in degree of his asceticism and abstention from food.
Self-control also includes eating in moderation before beginning of a fast and on feast days. Eating on these days should not be gluttonous and uncontrolled. Self-control also includes the element of hunger.
Drills may embrace virtues accompanying fasting.
In this way they include the spiritual aspects of fasting such as self-control in areas outside the scope of eating such as control of the body, abstention from bodily lusts and all sensuous luxuries, spiritual vigils and keeping away from luxuries.
There are also drills that pertain to what fasting including humiliation and penitence before God and gradual growth in asceticism.
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