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BelindaG
05-04-2014, 09:41
Hi all
What exactly is one meant to abstain from according to Orthodox Lent.
Food with eggs and milk ? Meat?
Swearing?
Smoking?
Sex?!

If you follow some or half of the rules, but break the other rules, does that make you a лицемер? Or do people 'do the bests they can', generally? What's the view?

And is this a time for reflection and introspection, where people try to be more kind, tolerant, forgiving, giving etc?

I've looked at a website that has a calendar with a confusing key. Eg. It shows Tuesday 8 April as : Food without oil. Does this mean you can or can't consume food without oil. You can eat everything as long as you don't consume oil?

How does this work?

Kartoshka
05-04-2014, 10:46
All of the above. And your calendar with the "confusing key" will be extra challenges for the fast, so in the example given, you should also avoid food with oil on this day.

penka
05-04-2014, 10:53
Hi all
What exactly is one meant to abstain from according to Orthodox Lent.
Food with eggs and milk ? Meat?
Swearing?
Smoking?
Sex?!

If you follow some or half of the rules, but break the other rules, does that make you a лицемер? Or do people 'do the bests they can', generally? What's the view?

And is this a time for reflection and introspection, where people try to be more kind, tolerant, forgiving, giving etc?

I've looked at a website that has a calendar with a confusing key. Eg. It shows Tuesday 8 April as : Food without oil. Does this mean you can or can't consume food without oil. You can eat everything as long as you don't consume oil?

How does this work?


As the idea with the Great Lent is to purify the soul in preparation to the greatest Orthodox festivity of Pascha, all restrictions, including the dietary ones are in place, of course, but they are not as important as the pure thoughts and good deeds.

Besides, some groups of people, like those who are sick are excerpted from the strict fasting, whilst for the others, like monks and nuns, those are much stricter.

rusmeister
05-04-2014, 11:03
Hi all
What exactly is one meant to abstain from according to Orthodox Lent.
Food with eggs and milk ? Meat?
Swearing?
Smoking?
Sex?!

If you follow some or half of the rules, but break the other rules, does that make you a лицемер? Or do people 'do the bests they can', generally? What's the view?

And is this a time for reflection and introspection, where people try to be more kind, tolerant, forgiving, giving etc?

I've looked at a website that has a calendar with a confusing key. Eg. It shows Tuesday 8 April as : Food without oil. Does this mean you can or can't consume food without oil. You can eat everything as long as you don't consume oil?

How does this work?
Lent is ABSOLUTELY NOT about "the rules". The rules are to guide you - not "force" you.
You really ought to talk to a priest if you can; there may be circumstances in your life that require you to relax the rules - this is always best done in consultation, not just on your own.

You do the best you can, you don't advertise it, it's between you and God, a priest helps give you "God's side of it" and perhaps the things that are true but that you might not want to hear or think of yourself.

One of the best guides I have ever found is Fr Alexander Schmemann's "Great Lent", a portion of which can be got at Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/36415/36415-h/36415-h.htm

And a good general guide here:
http://cts-greatlent.blogspot.ru/

A relationship with God is not magic, it's not like "If you break a rule, the spell is broken" - though failing to try may break something, can distance you from what you are trying to get close to.

And yes, our attitude towards others, and towards our sins and vices becomes double-plus important.

BelindaG
05-04-2014, 11:36
Is this principle emphasized by the priests in the sermons in the Orthodox Church? -ie. that is is not what you put in your mouth, but what comes out of your mouth, for example, that is important during this time. "Грех не в уста а из уст" - or something like that if I remember the Russian correctly.

Somebody who pedantically refuses to eat soup with a little meat in it, piously abstains from sex, but then says nasty things and behaves like a bear with a sore head etc - this just baffles me and makes me wonder what the church places the most emphasis on, during the services.

Rus, I wish I could talk to a priest here in the Orthodox Church. I feel my Russian is not up to speed - at least for this lexical. And, as I am Catholic and not of the Orthodox faith, I'd be worried the Orthodox priest would send me packing, or find my questions impertinent.

vossy7
05-04-2014, 13:40
As a young catholic boy growing up in a church controlled Ireland ,thankfully that is no longer the case, lent was all about religion and not eating sweets so that we could gorge ourselves to the point of sickness when it was over!
I really don't see the point of it at all, good human beings irrespective of creed or race should practice the finer points of what is expected in so call lent all the time!

rusmeister
05-04-2014, 17:00
Is this principle emphasized by the priests in the sermons in the Orthodox Church? -ie. that is is not what you put in your mouth, but what comes out of your mouth, for example, that is important during this time. "Грех не в уста а из уст" - or something like that if I remember the Russian correctly.
yes, in all my experience it IS what they say. The main thing to remember is that, although 70% or more of Russians claim to be Orthodox, well under 10% actually go and listen to the homilies or try to put Church teachings into practice. So if you notice that a lot of people don't actually practice this, well, they're just like the rest of the world. It has always been a serious minority that has really tried to live the Faith. I think this is generally true even among serious Catholics.



Somebody who pedantically refuses to eat soup with a little meat in it, piously abstains from sex, but then says nasty things and behaves like a bear with a sore head etc - this just baffles me and makes me wonder what the church places the most emphasis on, during the services.

Yes. That is the problem of the religious hypocrite, and you can find it all over the world. But the ideal IS difficult to achieve. It is easy to observe others failing to achieve it. It is much more difficult to actually achieve it yourself. Chesterton said "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried."


Rus, I wish I could talk to a priest here in the Orthodox Church. I feel my Russian is not up to speed - at least for this lexical. And, as I am Catholic and not of the Orthodox faith, I'd be worried the Orthodox priest would send me packing, or find my questions impertinent.


I actually know one who speaks English fluently enough on the west side of Moscow. Fr Valerii, who was in California when I lived there, and heard my first Confession (in English). Last I heard, he was serving at a church on Otradnoe. I spoke with him just last week, and he was actually eager to speak English. He's in a use-it-or-lose-it situation. If interested, PM me. I could ask him if he's willing to talk on the phone or in person. He's married, 5 or 6 kids.
I also know a number of English-speaking people (nearly all women) who go to a church near Okhotny Ryad, good friends of the family for 20-odd years. They lived in the US for years. I'm not sure how good their priest (Fr Vladimir) is in English, though I've stood as godfather a few times in his church (which is behind the McDonald's across from the Central Telegraph office), and it being a centrally-located church, has a lot of foreigners drop in. But the women are all serious Orthodox Christians, though you wouldn't know it from a casual meeting (ie, they don't go around in headcoverings, wearing big crosses, etc).

rusmeister
05-04-2014, 17:09
As a young catholic boy growing up in a church controlled Ireland ,thankfully that is no longer the case, lent was all about religion and not eating sweets so that we could gorge ourselves to the point of sickness when it was over!
I really don't see the point of it at all, good human beings irrespective of creed or race should practice the finer points of what is expected in so call lent all the time!

Yes, they should... but they don't. Isn't that the whole point? That we ought to be selfless - but are generally selfish. We know that we want others to be kinder, more patient with us, more forgiving, etc, but we ourselves snap at others, focus on their faults and are ourselves, of course, without fault.

I think it a general fault in Western Christianity that it is much more juridical, about the rules, than Orthodoxy, and I think that a general theology of seeing sin as "crime and punishment" rather than the Eastern Christian paradigm of "illness and healing" resulted in what you experienced. Not that I want to bash Catholics here - the best would mirror the Orthodox in much of what they say - but there ARE reasons why I could not be Catholic.
Anyway, it's no use criticizing a Christian religion if you are ignorant of the great good in it. Any number of people can complain about the Inquisition or pedophile priests. Only a tiny fraction of them - almost none of them - could also expound on St Francis of Assisi or Seraphim Sarovsky.

penka
05-04-2014, 17:14
As rus indicates and rightly so, the main message of the Orthodox Christianity is forgiveness and not the punishment.

Benedikt
05-04-2014, 18:18
As rus indicates and rightly so, the main message of the Orthodox Christianity is forgiveness and not the punishment.



and what you do or not do, is up to you and no one else. and if there will be punishment or reward it will be meted out onto you alone. Religion does not know sippenhaft. you alone are responsible for your deeds or misdeeds and only you alone will get rewarded or punished. if that is what your faith says or what you believe in.

penka
05-04-2014, 20:09
and what you do or not do, is up to you and no one else. and if there will be punishment or reward it will be meted out onto you alone. Religion does not know sippenhaft. you alone are responsible for your deeds or misdeeds and only you alone will get rewarded or punished. if that is what your faith says or what you believe in.

Precisely!

vossy7
05-04-2014, 20:36
Yes, they should... but they don't. Isn't that the whole point? That we ought to be selfless - but are generally selfish. We know that we want others to be kinder, more patient with us, more forgiving, etc, but we ourselves snap at others, focus on their faults and are ourselves, of course, without fault.

I think it a general fault in Western Christianity that it is much more juridical, about the rules, than Orthodoxy, and I think that a general theology of seeing sin as "crime and punishment" rather than the Eastern Christian paradigm of "illness and healing" resulted in what you experienced. Not that I want to bash Catholics here - the best would mirror the Orthodox in much of what they say - but there ARE reasons why I could not be Catholic.
Anyway, it's no use criticizing a Christian religion if you are ignorant of the great good in it. Any number of people can complain about the Inquisition or pedophile priests. Only a tiny fraction of them - almost none of them - could also expound on St Francis of Assisi or Seraphim Sarovsky.

So Rus......let me tell you about lent in our childhood, have a look at the image below......have you ever seen one of these?
This was the "official" weapon of torture of the catholic christian brothers to "chastise" children in their classrooms......it was leather of course reinforced with small steel balls to make them flexible.......the bas%ards used them regularly for beatings........they were even more vicious during lent if they caught a poor child having a forbidden piece of candy......

rusmeister
05-04-2014, 22:51
So Rus......let me tell you about lent in our childhood, have a look at the image below......have you ever seen one of these?
This was the "official" weapon of torture of the catholic christian brothers to "chastise" children in their classrooms......it was leather of course reinforced with small steel balls to make them flexible.......the bas%ards used them regularly for beatings........they were even more vicious during lent if they caught a poor child having a forbidden piece of candy......

So, you're agreeing with me?
I say that abuses that entirely miss the point of Lent... entirely miss the point of Lent. That doesn't make Lent bad. Only the abuse of it.

The trouble with Lent itself is that it says that the individual ought to struggle with the selfishness, pettiness and evil inside of him, and not with that of other individuals. The Christian response to your experience would be... to forgive the people who do such things.

vossy7
05-04-2014, 23:48
So, you're agreeing with me?
I say that abuses that entirely miss the point of Lent... entirely miss the point of Lent. That doesn't make Lent bad. Only the abuse of it.

The trouble with Lent itself is that it says that the individual ought to struggle with the selfishness, pettiness and evil inside of him, and not with that of other individuals. The Christian response to your experience would be... to forgive the people who do such things.

So, hypothetically speaking of course, suppose your child had been beaten by one of these so called Christians , you would just sit back and say " I forgive you"....I sincerely hope your answer is no otherwise I call your sanity into question!

rusmeister
06-04-2014, 03:49
So, hypothetically speaking of course, suppose your child had been beaten by one of these so called Christians , you would just sit back and say " I forgive you"....I sincerely hope your answer is no otherwise I call your sanity into question!

Well, I WOULD have to learn to forgive such people. That doesn't mean that a prison term wouldn't be appropriate. My forgiveness would do ME good, but it wouldn't do THEM any good unless they repented, and something needs to be done to teach them that such actions are wrong and intolerable.

vossy7
06-04-2014, 03:55
Well, I WOULD have to learn to forgive such people. That doesn't mean that a prison term wouldn't be appropriate. My forgiveness would do ME good, but it wouldn't do THEM any good unless they repented, and something needs to be done to teach them that such actions are wrong and intolerable.

So all of a sudden Rus is using capital letters to emphasize the fact that he is in fact squirming around the subject of religious ignorance of abuse!

rusmeister
06-04-2014, 07:50
So all of a sudden Rus is using capital letters to emphasize the fact that he is in fact squirming around the subject of religious ignorance of abuse!

???
Looks like you didn't understand what I said and are shifting from what looked like an honest question to an uninteresting attack.

Like I said, it's no use criticizing a Christian religion if you are ignorant of the great good in it. Any number of people can complain about the Inquisition or pedophile priests. Only a tiny fraction of them - almost none of them - could also expound on St Francis of Assisi or Seraphim Sarovsky.

vossy7
06-04-2014, 09:21
???
Looks like you didn't understand what I said and are shifting from what looked like an honest question to an uninteresting attack.

Like I said, it's no use criticizing a Christian religion if you are ignorant of the great good in it. Any number of people can complain about the Inquisition or pedophile priests. Only a tiny fraction of them - almost none of them - could also expound on St Francis of Assisi or Seraphim Sarovsky.

Rus you're wasting your time on here I suggest you could make serious money down in RSA acting on behalf of Pistorius......you'd probably get him charged with only damaging a bathroom door !