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Why Don't We Fast During the Week of the Publican
and the Pharisee?
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"For what profit is there in fasting twice a week, if in so doing it serves

only as a pretext for ignorance and vanity, and if it makes you arrogant,
haughty and selfish?" (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

By Hieromonk Job (Gumerov)

The parable of the publican and the Pharisee gives an image of the
Blog Archive spiritual truth that "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the
▼ 2018 (153)
humble" (Js. 4:6). The Pharisees were representatives of the social-
religious trend in Judea during the second century B.C. Their
▼ January (153) distinguishing characteristic was an intense zeal for observing the Law of
The Best of January Moses. Religious life requires that a person be attentive to himself, that he
2018 by the have moral sensitivity, humility, and pure intentions. If he doesn’t have
Mystagogy these, a hardness of heart gradually creeps in on him. Then a pseudo-
Resource... spirituality inevitably comes. The result is spiritual death. If instead of
Miracle Reported of the humility there is self-opinion and pride, instead of sacrificial love there is
Resurrection of a spiritual egoism, then it is not hard for the devil to take over such a person
Baby Gir... and make him an accomplice in his evil deeds. People who are unbelieving
or spiritually inattentive do not even know or guess how often they do just
Church of Saint
what the enemy of our salvation wants them to do.
Arsenios the New in
Phariseeism is not a vocation or a membership in some kind of religious
Synaxis of Panagia organization. Phariseeism is a state of the soul. It begins with self-opinion
Dakriroousa in and self-aggrandizement. Just as soon as a person’s attention to himself
Kefallonia and strictness with himself relaxes, the first shoots of a dangerous plant
Saints and Feasts of appear, the fruits of which can kill the soul. Death comes as a result of
January 31 poisoning with the poison of pride.
The Christian
Humanism of the The main moral characteristic of a Pharisee is self-love and egoism, which
Three Hierarchs directs all the movements of his soul. We rarely think about how much
Saint Pelagia the Fool egoism and therefore, phariseeism we have in ourselves. Our insensitivity
for Christ of to our surroundings, our constant coldness, the lack of a constant
Diveyevo (+ 1... readiness to sacrifice our time, energy, and convenience for the sake of
Saints and Feasts of
others shows how far we are from the repentant publican, who with a
January 30
contrite heart pronounced only five words, but departed justified.
Why Don't We Fast
By cancelling the Wednesday and Friday fast during the week of the
During the Week of
Publican and the Pharisee, the holy Church desires to keep us from
the Publican ...
pharisaical self-complacency, when the formal observation of Church rules
Holy Martyr Ashot the (fasting, prayer rule, and church attendance) becomes the goal of spiritual
Kuropalates, King of life. The holy fathers teach that all this must be fulfilled, but it must be
Georgia... seen as a means for acquiring spiritual fruits.
Saint Gildas the Wise (+
570) The Pharisees considered themselves to be wise and knowing. "But the
Saint Barsimaios the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to
Confessor, Bishop of be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without
Edessa hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that
Synaxarion of the Holy make peace" (Js. 3:17-18)
Seven Martyrs of
Saints and Feasts of
January 29
Posted by John Sanidopoulos at 1:43:00 PM
History of the First
Sunday of the 265 Like 0 240
Triodion (Sunda... 11
A Poem on the Publican Labels: Fasting , Triodion
and the Pharisee (St.
Homily for the Sunday
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the Phar...
Saints and Feasts of the
Last Sunday of
Synaxis of the New
Martyrs and
Confessors of Russi...
Saints and Feasts of
January 28
Sunday of the Publican
and the Pharisee
Resource P...
Saint Demetrianos the
Bishop of Tama...
Synaxarion for the
Translation of the Newer Post Home Older Post
Relics of Sa...
Saints and Feasts of
January 27
Life of Saint Paula of
Rome (St. Jerome)
Translation of the Relics
of Saint Theodore the
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the Monastery of
Saint Ste...
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the Merciful,
Metropolitan of...
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January 26
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