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Seeking through fasting alone


Cry aloud, says the Lord to the Holy Prophet Isa­iah; spare not, con­vict­ing the transgres?sions of My peo­ple. What did the peo­ple do? They seek me dai­ly, and delight to know my ways.[1] But is there real­ly a sin in this? Indeed, they ought to do this. Yes, they ought to, but the fact is that they do this not as they ought. They hope to be suc­cess­ful in their seek­ing through fast­ing alone, not car­ing for works of right­eous­ness and love. “Fast­ing is pleas­ing to Me,” says the Lord, “but only such fast­ing where?by peo­ple, in hum­bling their body, for­give offences, for­give debts, feed the hun­gry, bring the out­cast out to their house, clothe the naked. When all of this is done togeth­er with fast?ing, then you will suc­ceed in seek?ing Me and approach­ing Me; then shall thy light break forth as the morn­ing… the glo­ry of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am… And the Lord shall guide thee con­tin­u­al­ly (Isa. 58:1–11).

[1] The Slavon­ic for the sec­ond quote reads: they seek Me, take de?light in approach­ing God.