Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fast of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary

1.
"My seasoning is hunger ..."
- Jesus, son of Mary

2.
"If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (eternal) Kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."
- Saying of Christ, The Gospel of Thomas, from The Nag Hammadi Library, Translated by Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer

3.
While pregnant with Jesus, Mary was inspired by God to take vows of silence, as an act of fasting from speaking.

"The Voice said: So eat and drink and be consoled. And if thou meetest any mortal, say: Lo! I have vowed a fast unto the Beneficent Lord, and may not speak this day to any mortal."
- The Quran 19:26

4.
The Gospel of Matthew records that Jesus "fasted forty days and forty nights" (Matthew 4:21). The Gospel of Luke adds the detail that "in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered" (Luke 4:2).

The disciples were unable to drive out a negative energy from a boy, but Jesus drove it out. When the disciples asked how he did it, he said that this kind can be driven out only "by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29).

The early followers of Christ practiced fasting sincerely: "they had fasted and prayed" (Acts 13:3), and again they had "prayed with fasting" (Acts 14:23). The Bible mentions fasting as one of the observances of a minister of God (2 Corinthians 6:5), and "fasting often" as a proof of the worth of a disciples of Christ.

5.
During the time of Christ, the religious hypocrites made the practice of fasting so superficial and and full of showiness that the spiritual value of fasting was lost for common people. Thus, although Christ himself fasted, he didn't encourage his companions to do so. When asked about he replied in parable saying:

"Can you make the guest of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they shall fast." - Luke 5.34-35

6.
If you desire the fast of the son of the virgin maid, meaning Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon them both, then he used to fast all the time and eat barley bread and wear coarse woolen dress; and wherever the night overtook him he used to arrange his feet in prayer until he saw that the sign of the dawn had arisen; and he never stayed anywhere without praying two rek'as (cycle of prayer) in it.

And if you desire the fast of his mother, then she used to fast for two days and break her fast for two days.



7.
The companions of Jesus said, "O Spirit of God, we pray as you pray, and we fast as you fast, and we glorify God, Exalted is He! as you have ordered us, yet we are unable to walk on the water as you do."

Then he said, "Tell me how your love of the world is." They replied, "Verily we love it." So he said, "Verily the love and attachment to it spoils faith, but in my opinion it is merely like stone and mud." And in another story [it is said] that he lifted up a stone and asked, "Which of the two is dearer to you, this or a dînâr and a dirhem (pieces of money)?" They replied, "A dînâr."

He said, "They are both alike to me."

- credit: Ascetic sayings of Jesus


# Related:
* Preparation for Ramadan | the quintessential month of fasting
* A Sufi Masters Advice on Fasting
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