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

18- Fasting and Wakefulness


Being filled with food leads to heaviness of the body and consequently to sleep. As for he who fasts, his body is light, his system is not burdened with the processes of digestion, and is able to stay awake until late.

Fasting coupled with watchfulness leads to brightness of thought.

All the saints who perfected fasting were famous for their vigil. We also see that the disciples' eyes grew heavy in the orchard after the two dinners that they could not sit up with the Lord even for one hour. (Matt 26:40).

It is not in your favour my brother that the bridegroom should come at midnight to find you sleeping. The Bible says, “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching” (Luke 12:37).

Therefore, train yourself to fast in alertness and watchfulness so that you can spend the night in prayer with God.

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