PRAY, FAST AND REPENT TO INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
The most important things, in the context of fervent, correct belief in God and love for Him, from the perspective of the Church are Prayer, Fasting and Repentance.
If a man is not Praying, he can fall into any Sin. One must Pray correctly – in Spirit and Truth. Heretical or self-serving Prayer is not pleasing to God.
The church prescribes Fasting for it’s children. This is known by Orthodox Christians to be the Will of God for all Christians, and a necessary thing. We understand the verse (paraphrased) “This kind comes out, not but by Prayer and Fasting” to refer to the passions which are deeply rooted in a man, and not only the demon the Lord was explicitly referring to. This has been the understanding of the church from the time these words were written.
The third important point I mentioned above is Repentance. It grows out of correct Prayer, and is strengthened by Fasting.
We can only Repent when we know something about ourselves. We must know where we “fall short” of the Divine Image of God which we bear. We learn this through the Holy Spirit, Who “enlightens the world concerning sin”. This enlightenment is not personal only, but has also been revealed to the entire church.
The essence of Fasting is the fight against Sin through abstinence from food.
The meaning of Fasting is the acquisition of Humility towards God and neighbor.
Physical Fasting in itself is insufficient without Spiritual Fasting.
Those who fast but do not keep their Hearts Pure fast not for Salvation but for Condemnation. Because what good is it if we torture our body by not eating, and our Soul is proud or wrong with something else.
Physical Fasting and Spiritual Fasting must be performed together.
True fasting is a Spiritual Act primarily taking place inside the Heart. The function of the body in fasting is to prepare the Soul or rather to disclose the Soul’s affection.
God desires that through hunger that man may identify his weakness. Prostration is therefore more effective when hungry than with a stomach filled with food.
Lord Jesus Christ desires to meet your deepest needs and all you need to do is to allow Him to be the most precious part of your life.
Sit down and put your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulator over your legs above your knees, then put your palms over it and say the “Jesus’ Prayer” as it shows us the way towards true humility – “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” or the “Lord’s Prayer”.
This is very important because in this way your Soul will start communicating with the Spiritual Energy (Word of God) which is inside your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulator!
The power of Praying to God, coming from your Heart, means you are ready to open it and to receive the Lord as your Savior.
Now when you manifest your faith in God by praying to Him and while still keeping your palms over your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulator take a deep breath, inhale the air coming as Divine Light from your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulator through your nose and keep the inhaled air in your body for at least three to four seconds. Now exhale the air slowly through your mouth towards your whole Bio Field and repeat the process of breathing for two to three minutes. Even more, if you want. It is always up to you. There is no strict timing.
You are relaxed and ready to allowing your Mind to start listening to your Heart.
My advice to you is this: If you feel hungry, take your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulator and charge your Energy Centers with its Divine Light. This will help you to resist for a while the temptation to eat so that you may receive the blessing of hunger.
The Lord Jesus Christ fasted for forty days and finally became hungry. When the Devil tempted Christ to eat He refused despite His hunger. In doing so, He taught us a lesson. Therefore, endure your hunger, and do not avoid it.
Do not escape from the feeling of hunger through idle talk, wasting of time or
sleep which you may resort to in order to overcome the period of hunger without feeling it. By escaping from hunger, you forfeit its blessings, spiritual benefits and the virtue of endurance and control over the body.
Our aim is to benefit from hunger and not escape from it.
If hunger presses on you, say to yourself that you do not deserve to eat.
Say to yourself: I do not deserve to eat because of my sins. You become inwardly humble when you are physically fatigued which allows you to pray in humility and help you to relinquish pride, vanity and self-complacency.
As for he who stands to Pray in might, health and the strength of iron, where will submissiveness come from?
Two minutes prayer whiles hungry are better than hours when full.
In fact, a hungry person longs for prayer, while he who is full often forgets. That is why most faithful people pray before eating.
Peruse hunger in wisdom when you fast.
Those who have experienced the Spiritual benefit arising from hunger tend to prolong its period. However, one must be careful not to exaggerate in utter exhaustion that you end up too frail to stand on your feet to pray. Such a person may opt to pray while prostrating not out of submissiveness but to seek comfort and relaxation for his tired body.
Be wise to train yourself within your body’s limit of endurance. However, I have a frank word to say to you:
Do not be afraid of hunger, for it is a passing sensation. The reason is that the more you give your stomach, the more it expands to accommodate more. Moreover, in cases of those who are overweight, the stomach is flabby, its walls are weak, and if you do not fill it, you feel hungry.
If you endure your hunger, your stomach will recondition itself and contract. If you persist, it will no longer be in need for much. Hunger will then not persist since a small quantity will give the stomach a feeling of fullness.
A wise person is one who controls his stomach. He does not eat so much that his stomach becomes flabby, and does not over deprive it of food to make it shrink to a size unfit for the needs of his body.
Moderation in this matter is useful and wise.
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 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 by using your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulators.
True fasting is a spiritual act primarily taking place inside the heart.
The Soul rises above the level of materialism and food, and above the level of the body. It leads the body along in victorious procession and Spiritual desires. The body expresses this through fasting.
If we confine our definition of fasting to the humiliation of the body through hunger and deprivation of what it covets, we will be adhering to the negative aspect of fasting, ignoring the positive and spiritual ones.
Fasting is not hunger for the body but nourishment for the Soul.
Fasting, as some people speculate, is not a bodily torture, martyrdom, or a cross, but it is a way to elevate the body to reach the level of cooperation with the Soul. When we fast, our intention is not to torture the body but to shun its behaviour. Thus, one who fasts becomes a Spiritual and not a Physical person.
Fasting is an ascetic Soul which takes the body with it as its partner in asceticism.
Fasting is not a hungry body but an ascetic one.
Fasting is not bodily hunger but bodily elevation and purity. It is not a body that hungers and longs for food, but a body that rids itself of the desire to eat.
Fasting is a time when the Soul flourishes and lifts the body up with it.
It rids the body of its loads and burdens and lifts it up so that God may work with it without impediment to the happiness of the Spiritual entity.
Fasting is a Spiritual time spent together by the body and Soul performing a Spiritual act. The body and the Soul join in doing the work of the soul, ie. praying, meditating, praising and coming in communion with God.
IMPORTANT: Start reading and thinking about the following texts concerning the Great Lent from the Scriptures chosen by me for this Spiritual Practice.
Our Spiritual Journey through the Great Lent weeks starts now.
First Sunday of Lent (Treasures in Heaven Sunday): On the first Sunday of the Great Lent, we focus on our heavenly belongings and not on what we have. In the Gospel of Matthew 6:19-21, it teaches us to let go of our earthly possessions, and to keep a simple eye. What will we do with all our possessions when we go to Heaven? We will not have any use for however much money we have.
God teaches us to not focus on what we have on Earth. He has promised us a place in Heaven, which is greater than anything we could ever want on Earth.
On this Sunday, we also are taught not to care about what comes tomorrow, as God will guide us there, as it is mentioned in Matthew 6:26. We need to have faith in the Lord that He will protect us, and as long as we go in His name, no trouble will occur to us.
Second Sunday of Lent (Temptation Sunday): On the second Sunday of Lent, we talk about temptation, and how Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the Devil three times when He was in the wilderness. We can find this story in the Gospel of Matthew 4:1-11.
Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the Devil three times, where the Devil was attacking both His Soul and Body. We are taught to always remember how devious and cunning the Devil can be, and also that he is the Father of Lies. Many things that the Devil promises are lies, mainly the fact that he has no authority. We must always remember that the Devil attacks us on both our body and Soul, as he did with Lord Jesus Christ. We are taught to ignore the Devil, for he is always trying to lead us away from God.
Despite the difficulty of the trials, yet we are joyful, because our powerful God conquered the Devil. Regardless of how strong our enemy may seem, and despite the numerous trials, yet he is a defeated enemy compared to our Lord’s might and the power of His life-giving Cross.
Third Sunday of Lent (The Prodigal Son Sunday): On the third Sunday of Lent, we hear the parable about the prodigal son. We can find this parable in Luke 15:11-32. This story is about a son who left his father to see the world. When he was treated badly and ran out of money, he went to his father, who took him into his arms.
This story symbolizes our lives and how we have left our Lord, the one where we had lived in contempt with, for sin. We have suffered a lot and been tricked a lot, but God still wants us back and takes us in His arms the second we seem to be coming back.
This story teaches us how God forgives us and always wants us back, although we have sinned a lot. This story also teaches us to come back to God when everything goes wrong, for He is our true Father.
Fourth Sunday of Lent (The Samaritan Woman Sunday): On the fourth Sunday of Lent, we are taught about the Samaritan woman who was getting water from the well. We can find this story in John 4:1-42. From this story, we are taught that Lord Jesus Christ has come for everyone in the World, and not only for the Jews. The Samaritans were treated as underdogs, and it seemed strange that Lord Jesus was talking to a Samaritan.
Lord Jesus Christ came for the sinners, not those who were already going in the right direction. Therefore we must learn that nobody is too sinful. We also learned that Lord Jesus Christ was gentle when He talked to her, and did not accuse her of all the sins she had committed. We must be gentle when preaching in the name of God, so people can understand and look up to us as people who want to help them, not people who only criticize them. We are also taught that a single mouth can teach the whole neighborhood about Christ. Once the Samaritan saw and knew Lord Jesus Christ, she preached to the whole city, and they believed her.
Fifth Sunday of Lent (The Paralyzed Man Sunday): On the fifth Sunday, we discuss the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda. The Gospel of John mentions it in chapter 5 verse 1-17. This story teaches us about patience and never to lose hope in God, no matter how bad the situation is. The man waited for 38 years to be healed, but his faith in God healed him.
God will never ever forget us as we are His children and as long as we stay with Him, no bad will happen to us, even if we think it is a bad situation, it is all the plan of God.
Sixth Sunday of Lent (The Man Born Blind Sunday): On the last Sunday before Palm Sunday, we talk about the man who was born blind. This story is quite important and is found in John 9. This story teaches us not to judge people because of their appearances and disabilities. The blind man was not paid attention to, as people thought he was blind because one of his parents committed a sin.
This is unfair as he was treated badly and was not helped. He was healed when Lord Jesus Christ spat on the ground, and with this He told the blind man to put the mud on His eyes and wash it in the pool of Siloam.
This must mean that the blind man had faith in Lord Jesus, as this pool was far away, and the man had never seen Lord Jesus Christ before. The fact that the man saw again emphasizes the point that Lord Jesus is the “Light of the world”. The blind man had great faith in Jesus, as he had never seen Him, and therefore he could have easily thought he was being tricked.
We should learn from this lesson to always have faith in Lord Jesus Christ, and things which might look bad can have a meaning and plan in God’s books.
Palm Sunday: Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week, in which we praise Lord Jesus Christ and sing hymns. The Joy in Christ Our King.
With the Gospel reading of Palm Sunday (Jn. 12:12-19), we rejoice with the multitudes, because Christ the King enters into our Hearts to rule over them. We carry the branches of the palm tree and go out to meet Him chanting, “Hosanna! Bless is He Who comes in the name of the Lord” (Jn. 12:13).
The journey of Great Lent is a journey to encounter our Lord Jesus Christ and grow in His knowledge.
When Christ reigns over our Hearts, He guides our life and directs it in accordance to His royal commandments.
Thus, we can say with St. Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).
Now Feel the Divine Light of God coming out of your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulator that helps you to feel this joyful occurence of mortifying your ego so Christ can rule. You even experience it with more depth during Pascha Week, in which you rejoice because Christ, the Lover of mankind, reigned as a King on the Cross, was victorious over death, and conquered it, giving us the new life by His Glorious Resurrection.
You then proceed towards the Fifty Holy Days to experience the life in the Kingdom by celebrating daily Christ’s Resurrection.
Right now, in this very special moment inhale the air of your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulator through your navel and visualize how the Divine Light comes out of it, granting you a joyful journey during the Holy Lent. It helps you live with God through His journey of love during His Passion by purifying every Energy Center while you still keep the inhaled air in your body for 3 seconds.
All the negative energies in your Energy Centers are cleaned and erased. On its place, there is the Lord’s Victory through His Glorious Resurrection. Then, exhale the air from your mouth visualizing it going to and filling up your Aura.
By cleaning and charging yourself with the Resurrection’s Victory of God, through your Soul Energy Noosphere Regulators, you start thinking in a way that attracts the Divine Light Waves of the Quantum Field and you already start realizing how amazing you are to open your Heart for the Lord, who desires to meet your deep Spiritual Needs.
We regard Great Lent as a journey of purification and the correction of our lives, enlightenment and healing of the body and Spirit, as well as growth in knowledge. This journey has a certain characteristic that is present throughout the entire journey from beginning to end. It is a journey characterized by joy, which is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, Who guides the Human Spirit throughout this journey in order to unite it to the Bridegroom.
This joyful journey has certain landmarks and it is through our liturgical worship during this period that our Holy Church presents to us these landmarks. Together, we shall see how this journey allows us to experience joy, using the Gospel reading of the Sunday Divine Liturgies as a guide for the important landmarks of this journey.
We do not pray only with a fasting body but also with a fasting Soul, Mind and Heart abstaining from lusts and desires. The Soul also abstains from love of the passing world. All for the sake of living with God, nourished and loved by Him.
A fast in this way is the proper vehicle for Spiritual deeds, a Spiritual atmosphere to live in His Heart, Spirit, Soul, Thought, Senses, and Emotions with God.