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Fasting will obtain what prayer asks for

There are three things, brethren, on whom faith stands, godliness upholds, and virtue endures. They are: prayer, fasting and works of mercy. What is rattled in prayer reconciles fasting and achieves mercy. Prayer, works of mercy and fasting - these three things are one and give each other life.

For the soul of prayer is fasting, and mercy is the life of fasting. Let no one separate them, for they do not know the division. If someone has only one of them or doesn't have all of them together, this one has nothing. Therefore, whoever prays should fast, and whoever fasts, let him perform works of mercy, let him hear the one who asks to be heard. In this way, he opens the ears of a God who never closes himself to the voice of a supplicant. 

Let those who fast understand fast. Let those who want God see that he hungers see him as hungry. Mercy is shown by those who himself expect mercy. Let those who seek kindness practice it themselves. Let everyone who wishes to receive give. The shameless wicked one is one who refuses to others what he asks for himself. 

Man, let mercy be your nature! Then you will also receive mercy as you desire, as much as you desire and as quickly as you desire. Be merciful to others in the same way.

So let prayer, works of mercy and fasting be our only defense with God, our only intercession, one three-figure prayer. 

What we lose through offenses, let us try to recover by fasting in which we sacrifice our souls, because we cannot offer anything more worthy to God, as the prophet confirms when he says: "The sacrifice for God is a broken spirit. he will despise. 

Man, offer your soul to God and offer the gift of fasting, so that it may be a pure sacrifice and a living sacrifice, which remains both to you and to God. If someone refuses this gift to the Lord, he will not be justified, because no one can have himself as a gift to offer. 

However, in order for prayer and fasting to be accepted, works of mercy must accompany them. Fasting will not bear fruit unless it is fertilized by mercy. The hearing of mercy withers the fasting. What rain is for the earth, so is mercy for fasting. Although fasting educates the heart, cleanses the body, eradicates sins, and sows virtues, when the refreshing waters of mercy are lacking, the fasting person will not reap any fruit. 

You fast, remember that when you fast, mercy fasts and your role; on the other hand, if you are generous in works of mercy, your storehouse will abound. So, man, take care that you do not lose by saving, but reap by dividing. When giving to the poor, give to yourself, because what you do not leave to another, you will not have it yourself.


St. Piotr Chryzolog

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