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Relaxation During Pentecost?

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Relaxation During Pentecost - St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles

How can one practice relaxation of fast during the Pentecost and still keep his spiritual life intact?

St John Cassian answers this question in his Conferences as follows: The celebration of the aforesaid days is to be observed in such a way, that the relaxation which has been conceded helps rather than hinders the well being of the body and the soul, because neither can the joy of any festival blunt the stings of the flesh nor can the cruel adversary be appeased out of reverence for these days. Therefore, in order that on feast days the customary and established solemnity might be maintained and the most salutary degree of privation not be exceeded, it suffices for us to let the indulgence of relaxation go this far: The food which would normally be taken at the ninth hour of the day should be taken a little earlier that is, at the sixth hour on account of the festal season. But this is only under the condition that the usual amount and quality of the food not be changed, lest the purity of body and integrity of mind that was sought in the abstinence of Lent be lost in the relaxation of Pentecost and it be of no value to us to have acquired by fasting what a heedless satiety soon forces us to let go of, especially since our enemy, with his well known cunning, assaults the battlements of our purity particularly at the moment when they notices that its guard has been relaxed because of the celebration of some feast.