Do you ever fast?

What type of fasts do you do and how often do you do them? The Bible tells us only certain prayers can be answered by both pray and fast. Does anyone have any stories they would like to share of a successful fast?

As a G. Orthodox, the fasting rules are pretty strict for some, but they’ve relaxed over the years, especially with the newer Priests. During Lent and other fasting seasons, I never ate/eat meat, and on Wednesdays and Fridays, I only eat what is necessary that isn’t restricted, meaning that I really don’t eat anything at all. I tend to do this type of fasting once a week, as it does help to strengthen me spiritually. I know, it’s not healthy for me, or for anyone, and I definitely would not push it or recommend it if you feel you can’t do it. But, through fasting, I have really been able to open myself up to God’s love and strength.

I fast occasionally. I try on Wednesdays and Fridays. My fasts consist of bread and water.

I fast about 5 days a week - partial fast. That is, I eat only one meal a day. Three of the days I eat only a very small meal, the other two days, I eat a good breakfast or lunch, or occasionally a good supper. I’m a Nurse (retired) and DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS for most people. Although I have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), I have had no reactions from doing this. During Lent, I eat no meat except on Sundays, and eat (usually) only one meal a day throughout Lent. I lost most of my excess weight, (25 lbs) but am still about 15 lbs. overweight. My Doctor tells me I need to diet more! (He doesn’t know I fast so much).

It has brought me so close to the Lord! I started this 2 years ago when my husband died, and have had no ill effects from it. My spiritual life has deepended and I now work a lot as a volunteer at my Parish. As for specific results, I experience wonderful things during most Masses, and often feel the Near Presence of the Lord.

Two days a week I eat two normal meals a day. Two of my small meals each week are vegetables and sometimes some fruit. I do drink plenty of fluids, which is very necessary for the proper maintenance of the body. And I’m 72 years old! By the way, I don’t do this as a diet, but as a spiritual journey.

This is off-topic and I know we are talking about fasting as a way of penance, but I’ve been seeing studies suggesting that fasting is actually healthy, of course if done properly and with medical approval. You may look into Intermittent fasting.

So far, I can’t yet resist to food and I haven’t start fasting yet, but it is something that definitely I long for my spiritual growth and penance.


I feel that fasting helps me pray and somehow contributes to my spiritual growth. I’m not exactly sure how that works, but I have definitely noticed some changes in me since I started doing it. Sometimes I fast often for a certain intention, and sometimes I forget about it and don’t do it for months. I think I should make it a regular practice.

Really? Thank you so much for the link! I believe I will do some research on it. I was always told it would affect my health, and that I shouldn’t do it. I do it anyway for the reasons I posted before.

Well, one way to start is to not buy the food you love the most. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. Even if it is there, restrain yourself as much as possible. Try your best, as you will only be starting out then. Now this is only a suggestion, but why not talk to your Priest/Confessor about it? He will probably know the best way for you to begin when you feel comfortable and ready, and he will be able to help you out along the way when you need it. :slight_smile:

I normally don’t, although I would like to join the Church in doing it every Friday. Right now I’m on a fast along with one of my prayer groups since we are going to be serving in a retreat by the end of the month.

My experience with fasting has been rewarding, but that’s only when the fast takes place while making it spiritual: that is, fasting is not a synonym of dieting, but the spirit must be specially nourished during the fast. For this, I devout that time to more fervent prayer, spiritual readings, and meditation. It helps me gain consciousness on the spiritual realities as I detach myself a little from this realm.

I don’t do any kind of fast because I am a type1 diabetic and because of that I also have an exemption from the Lenten fast However I do abstain from all meat on all Fridays of the year On those days I eat fish or cheese to get my protein.

Well, I started bodybuilding over the summer in order to gain mass (the lower case version :p), so I haven’t fasted since then. Obviously I’ll be joining in on Lent this upcoming year and I’ll probably just drink a thick Whey shake everyday during it to maintain a high protein intake while still eating less. Mortification of the body is a powerful thing.

In a recent book I read I know of a lady that fasted for 39 days, having only small amounts of juice as her supplement and zero food. It was part of her appeal to have her son drawn towards Christ, who was a practicing homosexual and mass drug dealer. She succeeded.

Do you remember the name of the book? I would love to read it!

The book is Out of a Far Country, by Christopher & Angela Yuan (the son and the mother).

Thanks for sharing TK. I’m going to check it out:)

Just a heads up, it’s not a Catholic book. The Yuans were non-religious before becoming evangelical. It’s not a theology-heavy book though; it’s written as a memoir of their experiences and I’m sure you’d greatly enjoy reading it.

I don’t but I should. I try not to eat meat on Fridays but still eat tuna…which is just as delicious as land meat…so defeats the purpose of giving something up I think. :blush:

At most, I’ve given up a single meal.:frowning:

Thank you so much thequietsiniger for your useful tips. You are right, to track what I put in the shopping cart would be a good first step. The confessor is also a great reminder. Although the priest only comes to my city once a month, I remember last time after mass and confession, I found myself alone with the priest and I wouldn’t know what to talk about, so we just made trivial, small talk :D. I guess this would be a great topic to ask guidance. However, while I don’t meet the priest (only in the very end of this month :mad:), next Friday I hope to begin my fasting. Any reason why you also fast on Wednesdays ?

You are welcome! :smiley: Glad I could help you out! I would definitely ask next time you are able to. He will probably give you better ideas and tips than me. Being Orthodox, I fast on Wednesday because of the betrayal of Jesus, and Friday because of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. It is for remembrance. We have a lot of fasting, and when those fasts come up, we have a lot of restrictions, meaning no meat, fish, dairy products, wine or oils are allowed. Not too many people follow it today. Even my old Priest didn’t follow it strictly simply because it’s deemed unhealthy to so many people.

I usually fast and abstain on Fridays, and also during Ember Days, and of course Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

If anyone is interested, I read an excellent book a few months ago, The Spirituality of Fasting. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in using fasting as a way to grow spiritually.

Yes I do fast every Wednesdays. From midnight to 18.00 hours I dont eat or drink water. I intend to extend this practice to Fridays also. It is for my spiritual growth. I like it and I really enjoy doing it.

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