Our body lives by eating food. Similarly, our souls consume information coming from the senses. There can be not only physical but also informational over-consumption. The latter is no less dangerous than the former. According to one monk, we need to take as much information as we can use in practice. The rest is temptation and pride.
There is fasting for gastronomy and information. For a contemporary person, information abstinence is of paramount importance, as it allows one to filter out information that is harmful to the soul.
Previously accepted concessions for travelers were related to the fact that travelers were moving on foot or on horseback or rode pack animals, rather than on comfortable jets, trains, and ferries. At the time, the journey was a physically exhausting experience, which lasted from a few days to months and sometimes even years.
Nowadays, transportation services are so developed that travel is no longer a challenge. And if traveling is easy, then fasting during such a journey is not unbearable. Too many people nowadays ignore fast under the pretext of travelling to a resort or on a business trip.
Which prayer is the strongest?
A thank-you prayer (Luke 17:12-19). When we pray, we do not force God to do anything (it is impossible), but enter into fellowship with Him. There are no strong or weak prayers in terms of influence on God, but they can be stronger or weaker when it comes to the sincerity of a person and his thirst for fellowship with Heavenly Father.
St. Paisius the Athonite: Let “glory to you, God” never go off your lips. For me, when it hurts, the cure is “Glory to You, God”; nothing else helps. “Glory to you, God” is even higher than “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”. Elder Tikhon said: “Lord Jesus Christ” costs a hundred drachms, and “Glory to You, God” costs a thousand drachms, that is, much more. By this, he intended to say that a man asks for God’s mercy when he needs it, and glorifies God out of love, and it is more precious. He advised us to say “Glory to You, God” not only when everything is good, but also when we are in trouble, because God allows trials for the benefit of the soul.
Thoughts of St. Theophan the Recluse
(1 Cor. 4:9-16; Matthew 17:14-23)
“[T]his kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21). If this kind is driven out by prayer and fasting of another person, can it enter the one who maintains his own fasting and prayer? Here is the protection! Though there are plenty of demons and air is full of them, they can do nothing to those who are protected by prayer and fasting. Fasting is all-round abstinence, prayer is all-round communion of God; the former protects the soul from the outside, and the latter sends fire at the enemies from within.
Demons smell a man of fasting and prayer from afar and run away from him, so as not to get a painful blow. Is it safe to assume that where there is no fast and prayer, there is already a demon? It is possible. When demons settle in a man, they do not always disclose their invasion and prefer to hide, insidiously teaching their new host all kinds of evil and diverting him from all good things, so that he is sure that all he does is his own, all the while only executing the will of his enemy. If you just take up prayer and fasting, the enemy will leave immediately and wait for an opportunity to come back; and he will come back indeed as soon as you stop praying and fasting.
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds