Wednesday, November 30, 2016

St. Nilus of Sinai (Part 2), "On Prayer"

A Re-sharing of what was shared with me today: Selected Texts of St. Nilus of Sinai (Part 2), "On Prayer"

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Dan Everiss

Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 6:52 PM

 Selected Texts of St. Nilus of Sinai (Part 2)

-- Prayer is the speaking of the mind to God. What structure does the mind need so that, not looking back (nor hither and thither), it may rise to the Lord and converse with Him, with no intermediary?

-- If Moses was forbidden to approach the earthly burning bush until he had loosed his sandals from off his feet (Exodus 3:5), how can you not cast away from yourself every passionate thought when you wish to see Him, Who is above all feeling and thought, and to converse with Him?

-- When you shed floods of tears during prayer, do not exalt yourself for this, as though you were above many others. It is that your prayer has received help from above, so that, having zealously confessed your sins, you may incline the almighty to mercy by your tears.

-- Stand patiently and pray steadfastly, brushing off the impacts of worldly cares and all thoughts; for they distract and worry you in order to disturb the impetus of your prayer.

-- When the demons see that someone has the zeal and diligence to pray as he ought, then they suggest to him thoughts about something, supposedly important (and then draw away); but a little later they again call up the memory of this thing, urging his mind to examine it (if it is a problem – to solve it; if it is a thing – to acquire it); and he, not finding what he seeks, feels vexed and grieved. Then, when he stands up to pray, the demons remind him of what he had thought of and sought for, so that his mind should once more be moved to inquiry and his prayer become barren.

-- Strive to render your mind deaf and dumb during prayer; then you will be able to pray as you ought.

-- When you pray as you ought, there may come into your mind things about which it seems right to be angry with your brother. There is absolutely no anger against your brother which could be justified. If you look, you will find that the question can be settled quite well without anger. Therefore do your best not to be moved to anger.

-- Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for they are not always in keeping with the will of God. Better pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" on me (Matthew 6:10). And ask thus about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

-- Do not grieve if you do not at once receive from God that which you ask. He wishes to benefit you still more by making you persist longer in your patient prayer before Him. For what can be higher than to address one’s converse to God and be in communion with Him?

-- Pray firstly to be purified of passions, secondly to be freed from ignorance and forgetfulness, and thirdly to be delivered from all temptation and forsaking.

-- Seek in prayer only righteousness and the kingdom, that is virtue and knowledge – and all the rest "shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

-- When the sly demon, after using many devices, fails to hinder the prayer of the diligent, he desists a little; but when the man has finished his prayer, he takes his revenge. He either fires his anger and thus destroys the fair state produced by prayer, or excites an impulse towards some animal pleasure and thus mocks his mind.

-- Why do demons wish to excite in us gluttony, fornication, greed, anger, rancor and other passions? So that the mind, under their weight, should be unable to pray as it ought; for when the passions of our irrational part begin to act, they prevent the mind from acting rationally.

-- He who prays in spirit and in truth does not borrow from creatures thoughts to glorify the Creator, but draws from the Creator Himself contemplations for His praise.

-- When your mind, inflamed by longing for God, little by little divests itself of flesh, as it were, and turns away from all thoughts engendered by sensory impressions, or from memory, being at the same time full of adoration and rejoicing, then you may conclude that it has approached the boundaries of prayer. 

Australian-New Zealand Diocesan News

Sharing: ROCA Australian-New Zealand Diocesan, Current News: with Photos and Articles-

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Dan Everiss

Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Note: Some articles and photos here, have already been previously posted a bit earlier.

On: <>

On Sunday 31 October/13 November, GOC Bishop Ambrose of Methone served in the GOC Church of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, in Sydney, with ROCA priest Fr. Nebojsa Mirkovic concelebrating.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On Fasting

Plus A General Re-sharing: Two Separate Articles: "On Fasting" –by St. Paisius Velichkovsky, and "The Lord has Created Me" from St. John of Kronstadt

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Dan Everiss

Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 12:06 PM

On Fasting
St. Paisius Velichkovsky

On Fasting - Orthodox Christian Information Center
The third virtue is fasting. Fasting I call the eating of a ... Fasting once having entered into the soul, kills to the depths the sin which lies therein. Ch. VIII from Field ...

From my Life in Christ, by St. John of Kronstadt

The Lord has created me, and has brought me from nonentity into being, and after I had fallen, hast restored me through His sufferings and death; He has cleansed me, a sinner, has made me His son by adoption; He has promised me the inheritance of eternal bliss; He has enlightened me through the light of His Gospel; He punishes and forgives me like a father; He lights me with the sun; He gives me daily food and drink; and above all he gives me His sweetest and life-giving food - His Body and Blood; He has diffused air for me to breathe, and above all He has poured upon me His Holy Spirit. He clothes me in beauteous garments; above all, he inwardly clothes me with Himself, as it is said: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” [Galatians 3:27]. He gives me rest in a spacious and clean dwelling, and promises me an eternal, resplendent abode in the heavens; he endows me with health: above all, he gives me spiritual health in abundance, through prayer and especially through the Holy Sacraments and other means. What shall I render to Him for all this? What can I do for Him in return? I cannot do anything, except to be faithful to Him with all my might, through fulfilling His Commandments and by offering a firm and unchanging resistance to sin and the Devil.

My Life in Christ, St. John of Kronstadt, page 154

My Life in Christ: Or Moments of Spiritual Serenity and ...
Saint John (of Kronstadt) - 1897 - ‎Devotional literature
The Lord has created mehas brought me from nonentity into being, and after I had ... and by offering a firm and unchanging resistance to sin and the Devil.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"On the Necessity of Constant Prayer for all Christians in General", by St. Gregory Palamas

Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2016 1:58 PM
Subject: From The Life of St. Gregory Palamas

On the Necessity of Constant Prayer for all Christians in General

 From The Life of St. Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, the Wonderworker by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain
(Translation by St Gregory Palamas Monastery, Hayesville, Ohio.)

Let no one think,  my Christian Brethren, that only persons in holy orders, or monks, are obliged to pray unceasingly and at all times, but not laymen. No, no! It is the duty of all us Christians to remain always in prayer. For see what His Beatitude the patriarch of Constantinople, Philotheus, writes in the life of St. Gregory of Salonica. That saint had a beloved friend, Job by name, a most simple man, but extremely virtuous. Once, talking with him, the prelate said of prayer that every Christian in general ought always to labor in prayer, and to pray unceasingly, as is commanded by the Apostle Paul to all Christians in general: Pray without ceasing (I Thes. 5:17); and as the Prophet David says of himself, regardless of his being a king and having the care of all his kingdom: I behold the Lord always before me (Ps. 15:8), meaning I always mentally see the Lord before me in my prayer. And Gregory the Theologian teaches all Christians and tells them that we should more often remember the name of God in prayer than inhale air.

Saying this and much else to his friend Job, the holy prelate added that in obedience to the commands of the saints, we not only should always pray ourselves, but we should teach all others to do the same, all people in general: monks and laymen, the wise and the simple, men, women, and children, and induce them to pray unceasingly.

Hearing this, it seemed to the elder Job a new stunt and he began to argue, saying to the saint that to pray unceasingly was only fit for ascetics and monks living outside the world and its vanities, but not for lay people who have so many cares and so much work. The saint brought in new testimonies in confirmation of that truth and new irrefutable proofs of it, but the elder Job was not convinced by them. Then St. Gregory, avoiding useless words and love of argument, was silent, and after that each went to his cell.

Later on, as Job was praying in his cell, there appeared to him an Angel sent from God, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (Tim. 2:4), and rebuking him for having contradicted St. Gregory and opposed an obvious fact on which the salvation of Christians depends, he admonished him in the name of God to attend to himself in future and beware of saying to anyone anything in disparagement of that soul-saving work, thus opposing himself to the will of God, and that even in his mind he ought not to harbor a thought contrary to this and should not allow himself to think otherwise than St. Gregory had told him. Then the most simple elder Job at once hastened to St. Gregory and, falling at his feet, asked his forgiveness for contradicting him and for his love of dispute, and disclosed to him everything that had been said to him by the Angel of God.

Do you see, my brethren, that it is the duty of all Christians, small and great, always to practice the mental prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me! so that their mind and heart may acquire the habit of always uttering those holy words. Let this convince you how pleasing this is to God and what great good derives from it, since He, out of His infinite love for men, sent a heavenly Angel to tell us this, so that no one should have any doubt about it.

But what do laymen say? "We are burdened by worldly matters and cares; how is it possible for us to pray unceasingly?"

I reply to them that God has not commanded anything impossible for us, but only such things as we can do. Therefore, this can also be accomplished by everyone seeking the salvation of his soul. For if it were impossible it would be impossible for all lay people in general, then we should not find such a large number of persons who have achieved in the world this work of unceasing prayer duly. One of the representatives of a whole line of such people is the father of St. Gregory of Salonica, that amazing Constantine who, although he was leading a court-life, was called the father and teacher of the emperor Andronicus, and daily was occupied with state affairs, besides his household duties, having a large fortune and a troop of slaves, as well as a wife and children, nevertheless was constantly with God and so attached to unceasing mental prayer that he often forgot that the emperor or the courtiers were talking to him about imperial affairs and frequently asked about one and the same thing twice or even more. This disturbed the other courtiers who, not knowing the cause of it, rebuked him for forgetting a matter so quickly and worrying the emperor by his repeated questions. But the emperor, knowing the cause of it, defended him and said: "Constantine has his own thoughts which sometimes prevent him from paying full attention to our affairs."

There was also a great multitude of similar persons who, living in the world, were wholly devoted to mental prayer, as is testified in the historical records of them. Therefore, my Christian brethren, with St. Chrysostom I implore you for the sake of the salvation of your souls, do not neglect the work of such prayer. Imitate those of whom I have told you and follow them as far as possible. At first it may seem very difficult to you, but be assured, as from the face of Almighty God, that the very name of our Lord Jesus Christ, constantly invoked by you, will help you to overcome all difficulties and in course of time you will get accustomed to this work and will taste how sweet the name of the Lord is. Then you will know from experience that this work is not only not impossible and not difficult, but on the contrary, both possible and easy. That is why St. Paul, knowing better than we the great blessing that prayer brings to us, commanded us to pray unceasingly. He would not have bound us by such an obligation if it had been extremely difficult and impossible, knowing beforehand that in that case, by not being able to perform it, we should inevitably prove disobedient to him and transgressors of his commandment, and should thereby deserve condemnation and punishment. And this could not have been the intention of the apostle.

Besides, take also into consideration the means of prayer, how it is possible to pray unceasingly, namely by praying with the mind. and this we can always do if we want to. For even when we are sitting at some manual work, or what we walk, or take food, or drink, we can always pray with the mind and perform mental prayer, pleasing to God, true prayer. Let us work with our body and pray with our soul. Let our outward man perform his bodily labors and our inward man be consecrated to the service of God, and never slack up in that spiritual work of mental prayer, as the God-man Jesus also commands us, saying in the Holy Gospel: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, which is in secret (Matt. 6:19). The closet of our soul is our body; our doors are our five senses. The soul enters into its closet when the mind does not wander to and fro among worldly matters and things, but remains within our heart. Our senses are closed and remain so when we do not allow them to cling to outward sensible things, and in this way our mind remains free from every worldly attachment and through secret mental prayer is united with God our Father.

And thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward tayer and rewards by manifest and great gifts. For that prayer too is a true and perfect prayer which fills the soul with divine grace and spiritual gifts, like myrrh which, the more tightly you stop the vessel, the more fragrant it makes that vessel. so too with prayer: the more closely you confine it within your heart, the more it abounds in Divine grace.

Blessed are those who practice that heavenly labor, for through it they conquer every temptation of the wicked demons as David conquered proud Goliath. By it are quenched the inordinate desires of the flesh, as the three youths quenched the flame of the furnace. By this work of mental prayer the passions are tamed, as Daniel tamed the wild beasts. By it, the dew of the Holy Spirit is drawn down into your heart, as Elias drew down rain on Mount Carmel. This mental prayer ascends to the very throne of God and is preserved in gold phials and, like a censer, wafts its fragrance before the Lord, as St. John the Theologian saw in Revelation: Four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints (Rev. 5:8). This mental prayer is a light enlightening the soul of man and inflaming his heart with the fire of love for God. It is a chain uniting God to man, and man to God. O, incomparable grace of mental prayer! It puts man into the position of a constant converser with God. O, truly wonderful and most wonderful work! Bodily you have dealings with men and mentally you converse with God.

The Angels have no sensible voice, but mentally they offer constant adoration to God. In this consists all their activity and to this their whole life is consecrated. So too you, brother, when you enter into your closet and shut the door, i.e. when your mind does not wander hither and thither, but enters into your heart, and your senses are confined and isolated from the things of this world, and thus you always pray, then you are like the holy Angles, and your Father, seeing your secret prayer, which you offer Him in the recess of your heart, will reward you openly with great spiritual gifts.

And what more do you wish when, as I said, you are mentally always before the face of God and constantly converse with Him — converse with God, without whom no man can be blessed, either here or in the other life.

And finally, my brother, whoever you may be, after taking this book in your hands and reading it through, if you wish to experience effectually the benefit which the soul derives from mental prayer, I pray you warmly not to forget when you begin to perform that prayer, by a single outcry: Lord, have mercy! to offer to God a petition for the sinful soul of him who worked a little on the composition of this book and of him who paid for the printing and publishing, for they are in great need of your prayer, so that they may obtain the mercy of God for their souls, as you for yours.

An Orthodox Liturgist's Pilgrimage Through Advent

A General Informational Sharing: ARTICLE: "An Orthodox Liturgist's Pilgrimage Through The Advent Lent",

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Dan Everiss

Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 4:14 PM

*Found on: <>:
From a GOC liturgist in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.:

An Orthodox Liturgist’s Pilgrimage Through Advent
John Peter E. Presson, Protopsaltis of the Metropolis of Portland and the West

I must admit –I am as tempted by “The Christmas Blues” as any one else.  Between a mix of childhood and adulthood memories, the constant barrage of social “expectations” of the perfect Christmas, the daily news footage of an “up” or “down” holiday season judged by the track of retail sales, and Christmas parties that I can’t eat the food.  Additionally, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian who follows the traditional Julian Calendar (celebrating the Birth of the Saviour two weeks after everyone else), I get now up to two months of this nonsense rammed down my throat with the force of a pile driver.   And it gets earlier and earlier every year.  What’s an Orthodox Christian to do???

The Orthodox Church provides the perfect remedy to “The Christmas Blues” –a firewall between us and the world around us.  The 6 week Fast of Preparation that begins the day after the Feast of the Apostle Philip and ends on Christmas Day know as the Nativity Fast or Advent for its focus on the events, persons and prophecies pointing to Our Saviour’s Incarnation in the flesh. Much in the same way as the Lenten Springtime that precedes the Feast of Pascha is intensely liturgical in its focus, so is the Fast of Advent that begins in late November, and ends on December 25 (Old Style).  As one who has attended and chanted many of these services, this is one psaltis and liturgist’s little journey through this blessed time:

  • For us Advent begins somewhat uneventfully on November 15 –the day after the Feast of the Apostle Phillip, and proceeds as such until November 21.
  • November 21 –the Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God Into the Temple.  It is on this Feast that we catch the first liturgical glimmers of the joy of Christmas:  the Katavasiae from the 1st Canon of the Feast of the Nativity:

Christ is born!  Give ye glory! Christ is come from Heaven, receive ye Him!  Christ is on earth, be ye exalted! Sing unto the Lord all the earth and sing praises in gladness, O ye peoples; for He is glorified.

To the Son Who was begotten of the Father before the ages without change, and in this last days was without seed made flesh of the Virgin, to Christ our God, let us cry aloud:  Thou Who hast raised up our horn:  Holy art Thou, O Lord.

Rod of the root of Jesse, and flower that blossomed from his stem, O Christ, Thou hast sprung from the Virgin; from the mountain densely overshadowed has Thou come, O Praised One, made flesh of her that knew no wedlock.  O Thou Who art immateriate and God, glory to Thy power, O Lord.

Since Thou art the God of peace and the Father of mercies, Thou hast sent unto us Thine Angel of Great Council, granting us peace.  Wherefore having been guided to the light of divine knowledge and watching by night, we glorify Thee, O Friend of man.

The sea-monster spat forth Jonas as it had received him like a babe from the womb; while the Word, having dwelt in the Virgin and taken flesh, came forth from her, yet kept her incorrupt. For being Himself not subject to corruption, He preserved His Mother free from harm.

Scorning the impious decree, the Children brought up in godliness feared not the threat of fire, but standing in the midst of the flames, the chanted:  O God of our Fathers, blessed art Thou.

The furnace moist with dew was the image and figure of a wonder past nature; for it burned not the Youths whom it had received, even as the fire of the Godhead consumed not the Virgin’s womb into which it had descended.  Wherefore in praise let us sing:  Let all creation bless the Lord, and supremely exalt Him unto all the ages

A strange and marvelous mystery do I behold; the cave is a heaven; the Virgin a cherubic throne; the manger a space wherein Christ God the Uncontainable One hath reclined.  Him do we magnify.

  • From this point we chant these Katavasiae at every Sunday Matins until Christmas, and likewise at every Liturgy we chant the Kontakion of the Fore feast:

On this day the Virgin cometh to the cave to give birth to the Word ineffably, Who was before all the ages.  Dance for joy, O earth, on hearing the gladsome tidings; with the Angels and the shepherds now glorify Him Who is willing to be gazed on as a young Child, Who before the ages is God.

  • On December 1st, 2nd and 3rd we celebrate the memory of the Prophets Nahum, Abbakum, and Sophanias who all pointed the way to the Advent of Christ.
  • On December 6th, we celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia –that great archetype of Christian giving, to whom every Christmas gift given must be a reflection of.  It is of note that in Orthodox nations (and even in some heterodox European nations) the traditional day of exchanging of gifts is done on this day.
  • On the Sunday that falls between December 11-17 (the second Sunday before Christmas) we find the first of the formal “Advent Sundays” –the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers –that is all the Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets before and after the Law that preceded Christ:

Come, with faith let us all celebrate the annual memory of the Fathers before the Law, even Abraham and those with him.  Let us honour, as is meet, the tribe of Judah.  With Daniel, let us acclaim as a figure of the Trinity the Children in Babylon, who quenched the flame in the furnace.  Cleaving steadfastly to the predictions of the Prophets, let us cry out with a great voice together with Elias:  Behold a Virgin shall be with child and she shall bear a Son, Emanuel; which being interpreted is: God is with us!

   From the Doxasticon of the Praises of Matins –Forefathers Sunday

  • December 17th, we celebrate the Prophet Daniel and the Three Children in Babylon:  Ananias, Azarias and Misael.
  • The Sunday that falls between December 18 and the 24th is the next formal “Advent Sunday” –the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ –often called the Sunday of the Holy Fathers in which the entire genealogy of the Incarnate Saviour is commemorated from Adam and Eve to St. Joseph and the Theotokos.  At Matins, the Synaxarion recounts every one of the Royal Lineage and at the Liturgy, the Gospel of St. Matthew (1:1-25) is read recounting the genealogy.
  • December 20th begins the Fore feast for Nativity:

O House of Ephratha, august and Holy City, thou glory of the Prophets, prepare the house wherein the Divine One shall be born for us.

A blessed remainder of the Advent season to all, and wishing you a glorious and peaceful Feast of the One Who is Incarnate for our sakes.

John Peter Edward Presson


As we begin our Nativity Fast

(in Russian and a humanly smoothed-out machine-English): As we begin our Nativity Fast, and viewing His Nativity Icon, as we prepare to celebrate OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST'S INCARNATION IN THE FLESH, "A Brief word on the Advent Lent":

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Dan Everiss

Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 2:23 PM

What we are preparing for, in this Advent Nativity Lent, Our final goal: to hope to be worthy to celebrate: The Great Feast of Our Lord's Coming: THE INCARNATION, with pure bodies, pure souls and pure minds: God grant that we all may be  so worthy!

May we forgive each other, all, both past or current offences, and repent of all of our own sins, to receive The King of Kings!, the true and only real 'Christmas' gift, Our Blessed Lord, God, and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST!, He Who is The Supreme Gift beyond all price! into the lowly stable of our hearts and souls......

So that on that Great Feast, We may exclaim: Christ is Born!   Glorify Him!



About Advent Автор: Монахиня Вера вкл. Author: Nun Vera. 27 Ноябрь 2016 November 27, 2016 . . Опубликовано в Православная Церковь (Просмотров: 8) Published in the Orthodox Church (Views: 8)

И. Д. Мансветов ( 1843-1885 г)
 by - I. D. Mansvetov (1843-1885 g) -
профессор гомилетики, литургики и церковной археологии Московской духовной академии

professor of homiletics, liturgical and ecclesiastical archeology of the Moscow Theological Academy



Установление Рождественского поста, как и других многодневных постов, относится к древним временам христианства.

The  establishment of the Advent Lenten Fast,  as well as other multi-day fasts, began in  the early days of Christianity.

Уже в V–VI веках его упоминают многие церковные западные писатели.

 Already in the V-VI centuries, it is mentioned even by many Western church writers.

Ядром, из которого вырос Рождественский пост, был пост кануна праздника Богоявления, отмечавшегося в Церкви, по крайней мере, с III века и в IV веке разделившегося на праздники Рождества Христова и Крещения Господня.

The core from which grew the Advent lent, was the fasting on  the eve of the Epiphany, celebrated in the Church, at least from the Third  century, and in the Fourth century the two celebrations were divided, into the Nativity Holiday and the Epiphany celebration.

Первоначально Рождественский пост длился у одних христиан семь дней, у других — больше.

 Originally, the  Advent Lent lasted for some Christians,  only for seven days, while others - more.

Как писал профессор Московской Духовной академии И. Д. Мансветов, «намек на эту неодинаковую продолжительность содержится и в самих древних Типиках, где пост Рождественский разделяется на два периода: до 6 декабря (19 декабря) — более снисходительный в отношении воздержания… и другой — от 6 декабря до самого праздника» (Указ. соч. С. 71).

 As wrote the professor of the Moscow Theological Academy, ID Mansvetov, "an allusion to the unequal durations is contained in the very ancient Typica, where the Nativity Lent is divided into two periods: those days before 6 December (December 19) - is more lenient with regard to abstinence ... and another - December 6 to the actual day of the holiday "(op. cit, pp. 71).
Рождественский пост длится сорок дней и потому именуется в Типиконе, как и Великий пост, Четыредесятницей.

Advent lasts forty days, and therefore it is referred to in the Typicon as the Lent of, "Forty Days"..

Так как заговенье на пост приходится в день памяти св.

Since this starts on the ending of the day, [the setting of the sun, eventide], on the feast day of The Holy Apostle Philip,( the day before the Advent Lent begins).
on November 14, old style,
 апостола Филиппа (14 ноября старого стиля), то этот пост иногда называют Филипповым,

 this lent is sometimes nicknamed,  ' Philip's  Lent'.
По словам блж. According bl. Симеона Солунского, «пост Рождественской Четыредесятницы изображает пост Моисея, который, постившись сорок дней и сорок ночей, получил на каменных скрижалях начертание словес Божиих.

According to St. Simeon of Thessalonica, "The fast of the Nativity  Lent is modeled on the fast of Moses, in which he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, and he then received the stone tablets inscribed  with  the words of God.[ i.e.The Ten Commandments].

А мы, постясь сорок дней, созерцаем и приемлем живое СЛОВО от Девы, начертанное не на камнях, но ВОПЛОТИВШЕЕСЯ и РОДИВШЕЕСЯ, и приобщаемся Его Божественной плоти».

 And we fast for  forty days, contemplating and accepting The  Living Word from the Virgin, Who is not inscribed on stones, but HE IS INCARNATE AND BORN,  and He partakes of His Divine Flesh ".

Рождественский пост установлен для того, чтобы мы ко дню Рождества Христова очистили себя ПОКАЯНИЕМ, МОЛИТВОЮ и ПОСТОМ, чтобы с чистым сердцем, душой и телом могли благоговейно встретить явившегося в мир Сына Божия и чтобы, кроме обычных даров и жертв, принести Ему наше ЧИСТОЕ СЕРДЦЕ и ЖЕЛАНИЕ СЛЕДОВАТЬ Его учению.

The Advent Lent was established  for us, and is in preparation for the day of the Nativity of Christ, to  cleanse ourselves by our  repentance, prayer and fasting, so  that with a pure heart, a pure body and pure soul, we  can reverently meet Him Who appeared in the world, as  The Son of God, and that, apart from our usual gifts and sacrifices, we will bring Him our pure hearts and our pure desire to follow His teachings.


How and what to eat in Advent:

Устав Церкви учит, от чего следует воздерживаться во время постов: «Все благочестиво постящиеся строго должны соблюдать уставы о качестве пищи, то есть воздерживаться в посте от некоторых брашен (то есть еды, пищи), не как от скверных (да не будет сего), а как от не приличных посту и запрещенных Церковью.

The Typikon  Rules  of the Church teach us as to  what we should refrain from eating during fasts: "All pious fasting, strictly must comply with the statutes of the quality of the food, that is, to abstain in the lent from some everyday food fare, but not as in in a spirit of grumbling,  but joyfully and  as in obedience to the Church..

Брашна, от которых должно воздерживаться в посты, суть: мясо, сыр, коровье масло, молоко, яйца, а иногда и рыба, смотря по различию святых постов».

The basic daily food fare, which from we must refrain from eating, are: meat, cheese, butter, milk, eggs, fish and sometimes, other foods, depending on the local differences, and from the instructions of the saints "

Правила воздержания, предписанные Церковью в Рождественский пост, столь же строги, как и в Апостольский (Петров) пост.

The conditions  of abstinence prescribed by the Church in Advent, are just as stringent as in the Apostles' (Peter-Paul) Lent.

Кроме того, в понедельник, среду и пятницу Рождественского поста уставом запрещаются рыба, вино и елей [...].

 In addition, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of Advent, the rules prohibit: fish, wine and oil.
Рыба во время Рождественского поста разрешается в субботние и воскресные дни и великие праздники, например, в праздник Введения во храм Пресвятой Богородицы, в храмовые праздники и во дни великих святых, если эти дни приходятся на вторник или четверг [...].

 Fish during Advent is permitted on Saturdays and Sundays and Great Feasts, for example, on the Feasts of the Virgin, in the Church Great Feasts, and  in the days of the great saints, if ....these days fall on a Tuesday or Thursday.
От 20 декабря до 24 декабря (старого стиля, т. е. — в XX–XXI веках — со 2 по 6 января нового стиля) пост усиливается, и в эти дни даже в субботу и воскресенье рыба не благословляется.

 BUT, -as we get closer to the actual Nativity Celebration Day,  from December 20 until December 24 (old style, ie -.. In the XX-XXI centuries - from 2 to 6 January, new style) the Lenten abstinence severity is increased,  and on these days, even on Saturday and Sunday, fish is not allowed or blessed.

Постясь телесно, в то же время необходимо нам поститься и духовно.

 Fasting physically, at the same time we need to fast spiritually.

«Постящеся, братие, телесне, постимся и духовне, разрешим всяк союз неправды», — заповедует Святая Церковь.

 "While fasting, brethren, in our flesh, we must also be fasting spiritually, as that unity, will resolve everyone's  unrighteousness" - The Holy Church commands.

Нужно помнить, что пост телесный без поста духовного ничего не приносит для спасения души, даже наоборот, может быть и духовно вредным, если человек, воздерживаясь от пищи, проникается сознанием собственного превосходства от того, что он постится.

 It must be remembered that observing the lent, without a solid spiritual fasting, brings nothing good for the salvation of the soul, but  on the contrary, it can be spiritually harmful if people who are abstaining from food, are also imbued [with pride] of the consciousness of their own superiority, because they are fasting.

Истинный ПОСТ связан с МОЛИТВОЙ, ПОКАЯНИЕМ, с ВОЗДЕРЖАНИЕМ от страстей и пороков, ИСКОРЕНЕНИЕМ злых дел, ПРОЩЕНИЕМ обид, с ВОЗДЕРЖАНИЕМ от супружеской жизни, с ИСКЛЮЧЕНИЕМ увеселительных и зрелищных мероприятий, просмотра телевизора.

True fasting is connected with prayer, repentance, with abstinence from passions and vices, the eradication of evil, the forgiveness of injuries, with abstinence from marital relations [for both clergy and laity],  and with the excluding of worldly entertainment and entertainment events, and as  watching TV.

Пост не цель, а СРЕДСТВО — средство смирить свою плоть и очиститься от грехов.

Fasting is not a goal in or for itself, but it is a means  to an end, - a means to the supreme goal; to subdue our flesh and to cleanse ourselves of sin.

Без молитвы и покаяния пост становится всего лишь ДИЕТОЙ.

Without prayer and penance, the lent  becomes only a matter of diet.

Сущность поста выражена в церковном песнопении: «Постясь от брашен, душа моя, а от страстей не очищаясь, напрасно радуешься неядению, ибо если нет в тебе стремления к исправлению, то возненавидена будешь от Бога, как лживая, и уподобишься злым демонам, никогда не ядущим».

The essence of fasting is expressed in a church hymn: "Fasting only  from food, my soul, but not also from your  passions, you  are not cleaned, and you do but in  vain  rejoice in that feat,  because if you do not desire to correct your sinful ways,  then you will hate God, and be as a liar, and you will become, instead,  like the evil demons, who themselves, never eat any food".

" Иными словами, главное в посте — не качество пищи, а БОРЬБА СО СТРАСТЯМИ.

In other words, the most important factor in the lent - is not the quality of food, (what exact food items we eat or do not eat), but  the struggle with our passions.