Elder Nikon of New Skete: "If Christ benefited from fasting, then I will fast too!"
Christ being tempted and overcoming the devil in the desert (source)
“When man practices asceticism, the devil often gets in over his head.
Because he knows what a weapon the fasting is! What power the fasting has!
That is why, during the fasting seasons, during the Great Lent, Dormition Fast and now in the Nativity Fast, which is an easy fast, the devil is getting crazy seeking to destroy our fast by determining us to argue with each other, determining us to judge, to look at what the others are doing to lose the reward we will receive from God for fasting.
During the fasting seasons we should be more cautious, more vigilant, in a deeper state of awakening and more prayer.
Let the fast be not only of our stomach!
Let it be of our eyes also, for the ears to fast from what they hear, and the tongue to fast from what it says, to fast from everything!
Let us fast, but know that because we will make the devil to suffer, he will attack us!
Do not worry at all about this! He can not do anything! If he could, then he would!
And if you hear a smart one telling you that Scripture says that it is not a sin what goes into the mouth, but what comes out of it, what he or she says, that it is important, as Christ says, and not what you put into your mouth.
And they want to say, using the Christ’s words, that fasting is not necessary, because Christ Himself said that what comes out of your mouth, that will condemn you, not what you put into your mouth.
If somebody tells you such a thing, tell him or her too: If Christ benefited from fasting, then I will fast too! If I will perform more miracles than Christ, then I will immediately interrupt my fasting. Meanwhile, if He benefited from fasting, then I will benefit even more!
Continue to fast! And let the smart ones in their cleverness!”
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth...And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1: 14, 16-17
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages! Amen!
"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honouring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshipping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honouring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration.
This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world." Excerpt from the Synodikon of the Sunday of Orthodoxy (http://www.anastasis.org.uk/synodikon.htm)
By the Grace of God, here are presented a few true stories of the Saints, sayings of the Holy Fathers, sacred icons, and many other things so that, maybe in a small way, we may remind ourselves that (though we might not be ready to accept it) Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and that the Holy Orthodox Church is full of Christ's GRACE and TRUTH, and is no less than the Kingdom of God on earth.
I must say that I am not a part of the clergy, so I hope to primarily put forth quotations from the Gospel, Saints and Holy Fathers, and not my own opinions. But if you see my own words or opinions, keep in mind that they are my opinions or comments and they have little weight, as opposed to the quotations from Christ, the Saints and the Fathers which do.
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Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!
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