Dormition Fast: Lesson on Silence

The noisier it is outside, the quieter it should be inside.

Storms, changes, disasters, and adversities deprive us of calmness, peace, joy and conciliation. They accompany a person as a constant reminder that everything is temporary in this world. Everything is impermanent.

Without inner peace and silence, it is impossible to hear God and eternity. The voice of eternity is bright and beautiful, but not everyone is able to hear it.

External silence is not enough for this. We need inner silence. Only if we reach inner silence, we begin to hear the things that were previously inaccessible to us.

Dormition fast teaches us silence. It was established providentially at the very end of summer, when ripe fruits are harvested and the results are summed up. This is a time of peaceful contemplation of the surrounding beauty, unhurried admiration for it.

The series of feasts of the Dormition fast creates a special mood and reminds us of the greatness of humility and bearing of the cross.

The Lord leads us along the earthly path and prepares us for the main meeting. The Most Holy Theotokos showed us this path with Her life: complete humility before the will of God, trust in Him, readiness to bear the destined cross, and reverence for the Lord and His word.

Any fast is voluntary. A person cannot be saved, if he or she doesn’t want it. A lifebuoy thrown to a drowning person does not lead to salvation if it is not accepted by this person. In the same way, fasting will not be beneficial, it will not bring joy, if there is no inner conscious desire to keep the fast.

Fasting is a temporary withdrawal from the world, withdrawal into oneself. Disconnection from the raging information flow that burns our strengths and nerves.

Being in silence, being filled with silence, and rethinking our life are essential conditions for spiritual life.

May the time of the Dormition fast become beneficial and healing for our souls. Let no news throw us off balance. May the light of the feast day of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos illuminate our path, inspire and comfort us.

-Metropolitan Anthony Pakanich   From Orthodox Life (Russian)