BOB ABERNETHY, host: For Eastern Orthodox Christians this is Great Lent, the 40-day period of strict fasting leading up to Easter. The Orthodox are supposed to observe fasts of one kind or another nearly all year; no meat on some days, no dairy or oil on others. Their calendars serve as reminders. The discipline of fasting is supposed to help focus the mind on God and bring the person fasting closer to God. Catherine Mandell of Clearfield, Pennsylvania talked with us about her family’s fasts.
CATHERINE MANDELL: The church generally gives us a calendar to help us track those days that we are to fast and which days we’re allowed not to fast. We have several others fasting periods during the year. If you take all those days together you are fasting for more than half the year….