+ Fasting of the eye:
The Lord says in His sermon on the mount: ” If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell” Matthew 5:29. Here my beloved, it is fitting for us as we enter the journey of Lent, to strive with the grace of God to the fasting of our eyes. It is stumbling for the eye to look at what should not be seen. Forcing into the mind and heart the desire of possession and use of what is not permissible for man . Therefore let us beware in our fasting, from the deviation of the eye to become evil, allowing itself to look at forbidden lusts. From here we can understand the words of the Book” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” Matthew 5:28. We have to understand the meaning of plucking the eye that stumbles us out, that is to pluck out the evil desire. Because the eye is the window to what is inside, and we have to decide what we allow to be stored inside of our hearts, either satan’s unclean goods, or open our eyes to all what is pure, just, glorious and good, transforming our inner treasure to what is heavenly and sacred.
+ Fasting of the tongue:
As for the fasting of the tongue and mouth, the verse told by Saint Paul the Apostle keeps us on the road during our fast” Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” Ephesians 4:29. First, our tongue should not speak inappropriately, it has been said about Christ” who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” 1 Peter 2:23. Saint Paul also warns us through the Holy Spirit” nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” 1 Corinthians 6:10. Therefore we should not take this issue lightly. We also are not permitted to swear under any circumstances” But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne” Matthew 5:34. We should not let our tongue sin by gossiping, lying, and by hurting people…etc. we should abstain completely from these sins. Then comes the talk about what is good and beneficial for building, meaning guiding, calming, and encouraging positive actions in all aspects of life. Not only this, but we should speak wisely or be silent, speaking according to the need, and also be silent accordingly. Being guided by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit with the grace of the Lord.
+ Fasting of the ear:
May we learn how to make our ears fast during the holy Lent, avoiding the world’s distractions and to have a retreat to open our inner ear to the Word of the Lord when we open our Holy Book to hear the voice of the Lord in peace, just as Elijah who heard the voice of the Lord and not in this world’s noise and media’s hustle but in” a still small voice” 1 Kings 19:12. Let us experience in peace” Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21. My brethren, we have to hear what we read in the Book with our spiritual ears, straightening our
journey towards our heavenly home. ” He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” Revelation 3:22. Remembering Pope Shenouda the Third saying” I have cleared my ears from people’s talk so I can hear You ( from the poem whisper of love).
+ Fasting of the nose:
The sense of smell should be controlled by fasting, so we do not desire delicious food. Esau smelled what his brother Jacob was cooking and desired it, selling his birthright to eat lentils, giving away his blessing, so let us beware. How beautiful it is to have a spiritual sense of smell enabling us to smell the scent of our Lord Jesus Christ, listen to the bride in the Song of Songs saying to her groom” Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you” Song of Solomon 1:3. Also if we devote our inner life to the Lord, our fragrance will pour attracting others to Christ” Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” 2 Corinthians 2:14-15.
+ Fasting of the sense of touch:
The first thing we hear about the sense of touch in the Bible is what Eve had told about the serpent” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die” Genesis 3:2-3. This reminds us of the verse that says” Abstain from every form of evil” 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Fasting of the sense of touch is to abstain from touching any unclean thing whether it was close or far. ” Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the Lord” Isaiah 52:11. The word unclean is not related to anything created by God, for everything created by Him is clean, but is related to satan, who is called the unclean spirit, therefore anything that is related to satan is unclean, when the Bible orders us not to touch anything that is unclean, the Word means not to touch anything that is for satan whether in thoughts, works, tricks or evil ways” A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished” Proverbs 22:3. We have to train ourselves to touch even the tip of our Lord’s clothes, so it can heal our internal spiritual bleeding so that we can live like the bleeding woman that said” if I touch His clothes I will be healed”, and it was for her according to her faith. Regardless to our spiritual uncleanliness and the time of sin, and the rejection to ourselves and others to us, be assured that Jesus Christ whom we love will touch and heal us. We just have to have the courage to repent and confess, saying to Him: we have become unclean and have defiled others, would You order for us to be clean ? We find Him then rushing towards us and purifying us, as he had done with the leper who asked Him saying” Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed” Matthew 8:2-3. Brethren, let us during this fast enter the depths of fasting of all our senses offering our sacrifice of love to our God so that He would accept it joyfully through His Son’s sacrifices in
Whom we unite in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.