Living in an age in which man much too easily lives for the sake of exterior effects, we can be fooled into thinking that fasting from food should be sufficient for spiritual growth. But in the holy Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ says: “For from within, out of the heart of man, come… all these evil things… and they defile a man” (Mk. 7:21-23). Here the Savior teaches us that most important is the purification from within of our heart and soul. Fasting of soul is the defeat of egoism, the renunciation of sins and the abstention from passions. It is a humble realization within ourselves emulating the example of St. John the Baptist, the greatest man born from woman and the greatest faster. He says, “He [Christ] must increase, but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30). In order to receive Christ in our hearts this Christmas, we must work to destroy all that separates us from Him. We have the means close at hand to accomplish this:
• repentance and sincere Confession, which are the hyssop which makes our souls whiter than snow (Ps. 50:7),
• love of God and fellow creatures who are made in the image of God: this is the great commandment of God, making us like Him Who is true Love,
• charity, which covers a multitude of sins and changes the vanity of this world into eternal glory,
• spiritual hymns and pure prayer whic is the center from which all good deeds draw their power and strength
• and above al participation at Holy Liturgy and receiving of Holy Communion
 ~ From ‘Life Transfigured’, Monastery of the Transfiguration journal