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

9- Fasting precedes every grace and service

 

St-Takla.org Image: Ordination of Coptic Priests at St. Tekle Haymanot Church, Alexandria, Egypt صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رسامة كهنة أقباط في كنيسة القديس تكلاهيمانوت

St-Takla.org Image: Ordination of Coptic Priests at St. Tekle Haymanot Church, Alexandria, Egypt

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رسامة كهنة أقباط في كنيسة القديس تكلاهيمانوت، إسكندرية، مصر

Through fasting, we prepare ourselves to receive every blessing that God offers us.

Feasts bear for us certain blessings. This is why fasting precedes every feast.

Communion bears for us a special blessing. That is why we fast to be ready for it.

Priestly ordainment bears a blessing. That is why we receive it with fasting. Thus, the bishop who undertakes the ordainment fasts, the candidate for it also fasts, and all others who participate in these prayers.

At the time of our forefathers the disciples, the selection of deacons was accompanied with fasting: “As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul ” And “having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them” (Acts 13:2,3).

Fasting also precedes service:

Before the Lord Jesus Christ started His overt service, He fasted for forty days, spending the time in seclusion with the Father on the mountain

We likewise, after ordaining a new priest, assign to him a period of forty days of fasting and seclusion, usually at a monastery, before he begins his service.

Our fathers, the Apostles, began their service by fasting when they received the Holy Spirit, and it accompanied their spiritually acceptable service.

A deacon fasts to grow spiritually, to receive God's help and soften God's heart to join him in his service.

We also see in the life of John the Baptist that he lived a life fasting and seclusion before his call for people to repent.

Fasting is not for service alone but also precedes the Church sacraments:

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