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8/2/14 8:45 P

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Thank you! I am still learning about fasting. Probably will be for the rest of my life. It is made more difficult because of medical issues that keep me from fully participating. This letter helps me to see that the fast is not just from food.

The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14

A monk was once asked: What do you do there in the monastery? He replied: We fall and get up, fall and get up, fall and get up again. - Tito Colliander

The Jesus Prayer helps to lift the whole life, body and soul, to a level where . . . the world is sought and known in the beauty of God, not God in the beauty of the world. - Mother Maria of Normanby

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8/1/14 1:35 P

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The following letter is from my bishop:

August 1, 2014
Beginning of the Dormition Fast
Faith Lifter

Fasting is more broad than bread. It cannot be only a matter of what I eat, but of who I am. When I push my chair back from the table, my soul begins to want the Altar table, the table of the Last Supper, something truly nutritiously permanent and filling. It also gets me to thinking about my almost total involvement with the rushing and resting of the world’s constant movement. Maybe there is another road, as Robert Frost has written, that is less travelled. After the loud sounds of the world around me are muffled by the winds at my back as I go down this spiritual path, I can hear the voice of angels up ahead.

As I keep going forward, I begin to forget about my friends and enemies who have hurt me. Forgiveness is a way for me to concentrate all my energy on the climb ahead of me. I can’t waste my time and life on what could have been. I need all I am to be myself before God. All of who I am must be in front of He Who is. I forget fretting over the gluttony of my grudges.

I see in a clearing just in front of me the brightness of the never ending Day of His Kingdom. A few more steps, and I travel quicker because I am lighter and the Resurrected Lord will be waiting for me. Fasting made me fit to find my Lord. I got here so fast it was like I had wings. Well, I am with a lot of angels here, after all!
May God grant you a blessed and fruitful Dormition Fast,

Your Father in Christ,
Bishop of Toledo
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:

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