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2017 Week 1 of Great Fast - Devotional & Scripture

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Practical Advice on the Great Fast by His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Metropolitan

Several people have asked me about a serious regimen for Great Lent. As we are the at the doors of Great Lent, these are my suggestions to those who are considering a serious observation of Great Lent:

Limit your food intake to one light meal a day. My suggestion will be to have a soup and salad, or Kanji and payer, or some other light meal of choice. Since you are taking only one meal a day make sure you keep your nutritional balance. Make sure this one meal is strictly vegan - no meat, poultry, fish or dairy.

Drink plenty of water. You do not want to dehydrate yourself. I would suggest at least two liters of water. While in the US I just drink tap water. Avoid soda and other sugary drinks. When fasting it will be harmful. If you want some flavor try adding a bit of lime juice to the water.

Plan ahead. All of us have tempting occasions. So if you plan ahead and decide how you are going to deal with these situations, it will be helpful. The best strategy is to try avoiding those situations. Avoid people who are disrespectful to your religious practices. Do not try to explain to unbelievers. Just smile and move on.

If you happen to break your fast one day, do not get frustrated and give up. Just start afresh the next day. Try to reflect on what caused you to break it, then try to avoid those situations.

Remember, lent is not merely about food restrictions. It is a season of repentance. So try to focus on other aspects of Lent like prayers, meditations, spiritual readings, acts of charity, etc. It will be good if you can restrict your entertainment and social activities during this time. Try to focus on repentance, and the changes you want to make in your life.

Remember to take on a common sense approach. If you develop some health issues make sure you take care of it. If you have a medical condition make sure you seek medical advice.

Wish you all happy fasting and a blessed observance of Great Lent!

His Grace, Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos

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