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Exercises on Self-Control

During the period of fasting it is appropriate that you practice self-control as well as the control of your body.

  • Self-control clearly shows when you keep yourself from something you desire or be affected with, so you do not submit to a certain feeling or internal motive but you control yourself. And the wise man said, "He who rules over himself better than who rules over a city."
  • As an example, you can try to control yourself at the time of anger and control your inner heart from spite, rage and hatred, and control your tongue from conviction, fury, nervousness and harsh words.
  • Also you can control yourself over rage, hastiness and rashness and try to be calm; do not speak or give your opinion fast. Do not interrupt others or pronounce a decision unless you are sure it is right.
  • You can control yourself over any desire that comes into your heart and you long for doing it, do not submit to every desire but restrain your feelings, instincts, wishes, and impulses. Do not make your desires dominate over you but you master over it and bring it under the power of the mind and soul. Also control yourself in defending your honor or revenging for yourself and remember the saying of the Apostle, "We then who are strong ought to bear the scruples of the weak." (Rom 15:1).
  • Control yourself with regard to your thoughts; if you were thinking improperly or in trivial, try to stop it or change it to another course.
  • Control your senses especially your hearing and sight; do not allow yourself to hear or see something indecent.
  • Control yourself at the time of prayer so that you do not wander or stand without reverence before God.
  • Try to control yourself with regard to time; do not waste it at pleasures when your time is more valuable. If you have controlled yourself completely, you have succeeded in your fasting.
  • Source: book of “WORDS OF SPIRITUAL BENEFIT” By H. H. POPE SHENOUDA III 

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