Question: I am wheelchair-bound. It is the Lent now, and I do my best to keep the fast but doctors won’t let me observe all rules of fasting, saying that I mustn’t be hungry.
Answer: Everyone is given according to their strength. Rich Israelites had a lot of money and they threw large sums into the Temple donation box, while the poor widow only had two small coins. However, the Lord said that the widow had donated more (See Luke 21: 1‒4). The same is true for our abilities, both physical and mental. God does not demand that we starve and be exhausted by fasting. God demands us to limit our consumption. This abstinence should not ruin our body; in fact, it should make it stronger. That’s why you should observe fasting rules to the best of your abilities. I believe it’s doable.
Abstinence means vigilance of one’s mind and heart, and then, of course, abstinence from certain kinds of food. For instance, total abstinence is recommended during the First Week of the Lent.
Every person has his own measure because music plays different roles in the lives of various people. As far as church music is concerned, it is even beneficial. Lenten chants are prayerful and lead us to repentance.
May our fast consist not only of abstaining from meat and dairy but also from sinful feelings, the vanity and negligence, which assail us not only through food but also through what we see and hear.