Is it possible to work on a holiday or not? If it is possible, till what hour? After what hour is it impossible? Can I clean my teeth after Communion? Is it possible to Communion? How many pieces can you eat? How many can not eat? How fast do you need to fast for three days or two and a half?
That is what is of great importance to man. But in fact, this all plays a purely disciplinary role.
Many people are able to behave externally impeccably with the help of the rules. These were the Pharisees. They executed the entire law, all of its petty regulations, and at the same time did much more than we are now. But Christ came - and they crucified Him, because they had envy in their hearts, but no one ever said anything about the struggle with envy to them, they had not heard about it at all. And many of us, chasing after the ghosts of doing something, lose much more, not understanding what the main thing Christ brought to the world.
From priests you can hear this phrase: you better eat meat with fasting, not people. Because sometimes people who do not eat meat, torment all around, terrorize their children, daughter-in-law or nephews. The grandson, besides a motorcycle, cigarettes and beer, has no interests, and the grandmother to him: you go to church, pray, you carry a cross. And he eats it, and eats, turns his life into an inferno. He no longer knows where to go, but she pestered his mother: you bring him down, you tell him. And this is called Christianity. If the grandchild is dragged into the temple by force and baptized, the grandmother will be pleased: Well, thank God, now my soul is calm, the law is executed, everything is in order. But in fact, it's not right: since he's baptized, he might be much worse in hell than if he were not baptized. That is, she had a much worse service to him, because he could grow up some day to faith; in prison, maybe five times he sat, changed his mind, was baptized, and the Lord in baptism would forgive him all his sins. And so he immediately, having baptized, goes unknown what to create. The grace that is given to him is trampled into the most terrible dirt that can only be imagined. And the grandmother does not consider this as something terrible.
This is a purely legal, Old Testament attitude to spiritual life. And we all need to get rid of it. And it is gradually being eradicated in the process of churching, in the process of revealing spiritual life in us, the perception of the grace of God. Those rules, canons, customs, which in the Church exist, are holy. They all lead us to the Truth, make it visible. Truth is accomplished and revealed in our soul through spiritual deeds.
It is not the fulfillment of rules and the search for special prayers that save us. And then often in the desire to subtract more akathists, a person even falls under the power of some numbers; some say: behold, forty Akathists must read. And why not forty-two? Or maybe twenty-three is enough? Why forty? Or they want to go somewhere: oh, there is grace! And there is even more gracious! But every Orthodox church is Heaven. What can be more gracious? Now we have come to the temple, and on the throne lies the Most Pure Body of the Lord. We stand literally three meters from the most sacred place that you can imagine. What other holy places are needed? Here is the Kingdom of Heaven. And the Body of Christ, the very same which is on the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, which entered the donkey in Jerusalem, which was crucified on the Cross and ascended to Heaven, the very Body, to which the woman touched with faith and was healed of her illness, is here. There is no difference between this Body and no, they are absolutely identical. We stand in the presence of Christ the Savior, we listen every day to the word of God, which from the Gospel rushes, but nothing happens to us, because the Old Testament has not yet died in us, we all live in a chain of some rules that bind us and became for us an end in itself. But the rule is just a crutch that helps you walk. "