Four Ways Fasting Helps You Love God and Neighbor

We’re just a few days away from the start of the Dormition Fast, two weeks of preparation before we celebrate the falling asleep of the Theotokos.

As with any fast, this period is an incredible opportunity that can help us in at least four ways:

  1. Fasting helps us be mindful of what we say. It’s about more than what goes into our mouths, it’s also about what comes out of them.
  2. Fasting helps us develop discipline. Choosing to avoid certain foods helps strengthen us to avoid other temptations and instead choose Christ.
  1. Fasting helps us develop gratitude.  When our stomachs grumble with hunger, it’s a reminder of the many blessings we may take for granted.
  1. Fasting puts us in a position to better serve our neighbors.  The Church has always taught that any money we save by eating simple foods should be given to those who are hungry.

And that’s perhaps the most important point to remember. Don’t simply spend the first two weeks of August worried about what you can’t eat: use those weeks to fast, of course, but also to pray, to attend services, to live with kindness and joy.

Use those two weeks to get better at loving God and neighbor with all your heart.