What are fasting and prayer?

An orthodox monk praying in the church of Neamt monastery.
photo: Ezequiel Scagnetti

BROTHER: What are fasting and prayer?

OLD MAN: Fasting is the subjugation of the body, prayer is converse with God, vigil is a war against Satan, abstinence is being weaned from meats, humility is the state of the first man, kneeling is the inclining of the body before the Judge, tears are the remembrance of sins, nakedness is our captivity which is caused by the transgression of the command, and service is constant supplication to and praise of God.

BROTHER: Are these able to redeem the soul?
OLD MAN: When internal things agree with external, and manifest humility appears in the hidden works which are from within, verily, a man shall be redeemed from the weight of the body.

~The Paradise of the Holy Fathers (spotted on FB)

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