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

34- Fasting of the Tongue, Thought, and Heart Image: The tongue, talkative person صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: لسان، شخص ثرثار Image: The tongue, talkative person

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: لسان، شخص ثرثار

Saint Isaac said: “the fasting of the tongue is better than the mouth's, and the abstinence of the heart from lust is better than both fasts” this shows the importance of fasting of both the tongue and the mouth.

Many concern themselves with abstaining from food. God rebuked them, saying: “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” (Matt 15:11). In this way He shows us that wrong words are defiling. In the same way, our teacher, the Apostle James, refers to the tongue which “defiles the whole body.” (James 3:6). Is your tongue, thus, fasting with the rest of your body? And is your heart abstaining from lusts?

A fasting heart is able to make the tongue fast with it, for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt 12:34).

The Lord also said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. “ (Matt 15:18). Moreover, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Matt 12:35). Therefore, if your heart abstains from sin, your tongue will abstain from every evil word.

He who fasts the heart, can also make his body fast also.

Therefore, what is important is for the heart and thought to abstain from every wrong desire assisted by the fasting of the body, which is the least of all, and we have discussed this issue before here on in other pages. Therefore in your fast, control your tongue and in the same way that you make your mouth refrain from food, make it refrain from bad words. Control your thoughts and yourself.

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