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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Fear Meat-Eating Gluttony!By Saint Basil of Caesarea. Ed. Dr. Chapman Chen

Saint Basil of Caesarea (St. Basil the Great): 9. Were they not those of the people who demanded to eat meat? As long as they were content with manna and water from the rock, they overcame the Egyptians and journeyed through the sea; there was not a feeble one among their tribes.” But when they recalled the fleshpots and returned to Egypt in their desires, they did not see the Promised Land. Do you not fear their example? Do you not shudder at their gluttony, lest it exclude you from the good things for which we hope? But not even the wise Daniel would have seen visions, had he not rendered his soul more pellucid through fasting. For certain thick vapors are emitted from rich foods, which, like a dense cloud, prevent the illumination produced by the Holy Spirit from entering the mind. But if there is any food that is proper even to Angels, it is bread, as the Prophet says: “Man ate the bread of Angels” (Psalm 77:25, Septuagint) — not meat, nor wine, nor those items that are zealously sought after by those enslaved to their stomachs.

Saint Basil the Great was a 4th century Bishop of Caesarea, a city in the Cappadocia region of Anatolia from whence Saint Nino came. He is renowned as one of the Three Holy Heirarchs of the early church, along with Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Gregory the Theologian. His Divine Liturgy is used during Lent today, and his homilies (sermons) are still widely read and discussed by Orthodox Christians. This sermon on Fasting is considered authoritative.

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