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Illness and Fasting Rules #344817 03/08/10 01:43 PM
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Alice Offline OP
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Ofcourse, most of us know that dispensation is given when one consults with their SF, but there are so many people who feel guilty about their illnesses preventing them from fasting that I thought this nice explanation might benefit our readers.

"Fasting was devised in order to humble the body. If, therefore, my body is already in a state of humbleness and illness or weakness, the person ought to partake of as much as he or she may wish and be able to get along with food and drink (Canon 8 of St. Timothy of Alexandria, 381)."

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Alice] #344819 03/08/10 01:54 PM
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sielos ilgesys Offline
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A pious Greek Catholic lady I know suffers from diabetes and consequently is largely dispensed from the usual level of fasting during Great Lent. She compensates for it by devotion more time to prayer and reflection and foregoes meat on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: sielos ilgesys] #345389 03/16/10 11:29 PM
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bpbasilphx Offline
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When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was told by Bp. George Kuzma, of blessed memory, that learning how to eat to keep my blood sugar in line would be asceticism enough for the time being.

Three other bishops told me the same thing.

Remember that the fasting practices were designed for normal healthy people doing normal healthy things--who for the most part did more physical labor than 21st century people.

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: bpbasilphx] #345410 03/17/10 03:05 AM
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Doro Offline
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Fasting from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays during the Great Fast is really not difficult -- just substitute fish, eggs, or some other protein for the meat.

Even the 'strict fast' abstaining from meat and dairy products on the first day of the Great Fast and on Good Friday, just 2 days out of the whole year, is not that difficult the older I get.

It helps to know something about nutrition and what ingredients are in prepared foods (i.e., read the label). In my family, I'm the 'food police.' There are plenty of things to eat that don't contain meat or dairy products -- fruits, vegetables, fish, the ever-popular peanut butter and banana sandwich, etc. We really can consume sufficient calories in a day by eating these simple foods.

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Doro] #345419 03/17/10 06:16 AM
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Brian Kerzetski Offline
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Doro,

Actually, fish and eggs are not acceptable substitutes in the east. Sandwiches are not usually an option either as bread contains oil or butter or both.

For me a nice salad with capers, olives, crab and/or shrimp and balsamic vinegar hits the spot on Wednesdays and Fridays.

That being said, those who are ill or frail need to do what is best for their bodies.

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Brian Kerzetski] #345441 03/17/10 01:54 PM
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Alice Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Brian Kerzetski
Doro,

Actually, fish and eggs are not acceptable substitutes in the east. Sandwiches are not usually an option either as bread contains oil or butter or both.

For me a nice salad with capers, olives, crab and/or shrimp and balsamic vinegar hits the spot on Wednesdays and Fridays.

That being said, those who are ill or frail need to do what is best for their bodies.


Fasts are different for different traditions and for individuals and we all do our best.

For instance, both in Greece and in the U.S., Greek Orthodox *do* eat bread!!! I honestly don't know any Eastern Christian that doesn't eat bread during the fast.

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Alice] #345444 03/17/10 02:42 PM
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This is one thing I have always had trouble with the East about is the PRIDE people get from fasting. It just totally destroys any good they do by the action. To be critical of others is just as damaging, as it not only hurts the person being critical, but also inflicts wounds on those who can do less.

My husband is diabetic, and also a renal dialysis patient. There is no way possible for him to serve at the services first along with the Altar, first thing in the morning for three to four hours with nothing to eat. Especially since he completes nine hours of dialysis during the night while sleeping. So yes, he has a cup of oatmeal, when actually he should be having protien. So be it! I really don't think God objects. I would think it is better than his going into hypoglycemia and fainting at the Altar or something. Thereby causing disruption for many during worship.

PEOPLE DON'T BE SO JUDGMENTAL OF OTHERS, YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING THROUGH, AND YOU DESTROY YOUR OWN FAST!

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Pani Rose] #345447 03/17/10 02:54 PM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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I would concur with the observations and comments of my sisters, Alice and Rose.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Irish Melkite] #345454 03/17/10 03:17 PM
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DMD Offline
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Originally Posted by Irish Melkite
I would concur with the observations and comments of my sisters, Alice and Rose.

Many years,

Neil


I agree. It has been my observation that during the course of Great Lent, many of us tend to forget the Liturgical readings of the Sunday of Forgiveness in which St. Paul admonishes the Romans regarding fasting, and St. Matthew tells us Christ's teaching. "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. "(Matthew 6:16-18).

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: DMD] #345455 03/17/10 03:51 PM
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Dear Pani Rose,

While I am sure that Brian meant no harm and did not mean to be judgemental (sometimes when people are on their first Lenten fasts, they are just overzealously happy about following it, and want to talk about it), but he did make you feel defensive, and you shouldn't feel that way!! (For instance, I probably offer way too many vegan Lenten recipes because I am happy that I have figured them out to make for me and my husband and I just want to share them out of love)

You would probably be surprised at how many people here have different allowances from their SF's for health reasons, and many of those allowances, though necessary, aren't even for anything close to being as serious as what your dear Stan has economy for. So, please don't worry...*be happy*!!!

We all do our best, and sometimes we slip up..knowingly and unknowingly, and sometimes we focus too much on the wrong things...we are all human and because of all that, we are all sinners, for sure!!! wink

A big cyber hug to you,
Alice smile


Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Alice] #345465 03/17/10 07:07 PM
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Thank you for the hug Dear Sister!

I apologize to Brian, I was not meaning it directly to him, but as an unfortunate happening of the Eastern Fast, which I stated, by many folks, and even in our own Church as well.

Your recipes are always wonderful, and so many share their ideas just as I like too.

The frustrating thing with the deacon is many things which would be great for fasting like beans, he cannot eat because of the phosphorus they contain. It is truly a very confusing thing to figure out how to feed those on any type of dialysis. If you are on hemo dialysis, you must eat certain things, but if your are on peritineal dialysis, a great many of those things you can't eat. If you are a diabetic and on them it even limits more what you can absorb. He has had to give up milk, cheeses, and so on again because of the phosphorus, who would have thought that. Since he can't use phosphorus binders, they have to be controlled through his diet.

So the way one person can fast, may have to be totally different from someone else. God didn't make us all the same, and I guess that means the fast can be different for all of too, according to what our bodies and can handle and the grace received for the fast.

Forgive me a sinner.
rose

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Pani Rose] #345471 03/17/10 08:45 PM
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theophan Offline
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PANI ROSE:

Christ is in our midst!!

Many years ago, I used to consult an Orthodox priest as my spiritual father. He told me that when I lived with my family who did not fast at all that the best thing for me would be to do what he called a "positive fast." He went on at great length as to the things that can be done and that can become positive habits for the whole of life. An extra fifteen minutes of prayer, withdrawing from the nightly all-evening TV routine for an hour of spiritual reading or Scripture reading, taking the readings appointed on the calendar for the days of Great Lent (from Isaiah and Genesis), and some alms (random acts of kindness--volunteering somewhere or doing a kindness for someone without accepting money; better yet doing something that the recipient would notice but not know who was the giver). Taking the time to listen to a child or an aged person or anyone who felt lonely and needed some positive reinforcement of their worth as a human being. Stopping on the way home at a church and just sitting with the Lord in silence for awhile also made the list of suggestions.

Deacon Stan's witness just being who he is in service to God and to the People of God, the Church, is plenty of witness, gvien his health issues, IMHO.

BOB

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: theophan] #345584 03/20/10 04:12 AM
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Brian Kerzetski Offline
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Wow! I certainly wasn't expecting that firestorm! Although, I did enjoy the discussion about fasting and our individual disciplines. I agreed with everyone on that matter.

I was a bit shocked by the suggestion of pride. Doro recently began her venture into the world of the east. I was merely stating the traditional "regulations" of the fast (of some my wife corrected me). My sharing of how I attempt to honor the fast is how I would respond to similar conversations with my eastern thinking friends. This is a Byzantine Catholic based forum, therefore, I would expect those involved in a discussion about Byzantine Catholic issues to include examples of the poster's practices.

I felt this discussion met a good end. However, I also felt the need to clear the air as I received private messages admonishing me for my "behavior".

May you all continue to have a blessed Fast,

Brian

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: Brian Kerzetski] #345591 03/20/10 08:48 AM
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aramis Offline
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Pride is a problem. A very human problem. And a small portion of people ignore the biblical injunctions by St. Paul to wash the face, comb the hair, and not let on one is fasting.

Re: Illness and Fasting Rules [Re: aramis] #345597 03/20/10 01:54 PM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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A lesson learned from this discussion might well be that judging others is itself a form of pride and something that one might well fast from during this season.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."

Moderated by  Alice, Father Deacon Ed, theophan 

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