Beginning the God-Pleasing Lent

Source: St. Elizabeth Convent

March 1, 2017

    

With God’s help we are beginning Great Lent. We have to start to work on ourselves, to set our thoughts in order. Our inner man should be restored. All our thoughts and feelings are devastated, tangled and crushed by sin. How can we live in such a condition and say that we are Christians?

The thing is that we need help. And the Church offers us help in plenty, for everything we hear and see in a church, everything that happens there is blessed by the Holy Spirit. It is a sacred place which washes away any blight and impurity. But to clear ourselves we need to be attentive. We need to withstand our weaknesses and believe in the victory of the Resurrection. We have takena small step, but there are still so many steps ahead! However, let us not forget that we should thank God for the present day as well. A thankful man does not despair, he does not complain that he is not well, that something is wrong in his life. A thankful man gives thank for what he has, and then God gives him even more. So, let us prepare for the evening service, when we can listen to the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. At the same time, let us not forget that the day is going on, and our service to God continues not only in a church, but outside it as well. It continues through the people we will meet today and through the work we have to do despite the fact we are a little tired. We have spent several hours at the service – and we got tired. But what will we do in the Kingdom of Heaven then? You know that in the Kingdom of Heaven we will constantly praise God standing near His Throne. This is why our tiredness should not hinder us to serve, to work as hard as we can to earn our earthly and Heavenly Bread.

See also
A Lenten Primer A Lenten Primer
Fr. Evan Armatas, John Maddox
A Lenten Primer A Lenten Primer
Fr. Evan Armatas, John Maddox
How did the Church arrive at such a season and structure of services? And whether you've been through Lent before or this is going to be your first season, you will see that this is a rather complicated season; there is a lot going on, a number of services you haven't seen. There are new names and phrases for things. Certain spiritual disciplines are highlighted that you may not be aware of, or at least you don't typically them see during the rest of the season.
A Song of Repentance: the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete A Song of Repentance: the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete
The Monastery of Axion Estin
A Song of Repentance: the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete A Song of Repentance: the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete
The Monastery of Axion Estin
The experience of Lent is a spiritual journey whose purpose is to transfer us from one spiritual state to another, a dynamic passage. For this reason the church commences Lent with the great penitential Canon of St Andrew of Crete. This penitential lamentation conveys to us the scope and depth of sin, shaking the soul with despair, repentance, and hope.
Fasting and Great Lent Fasting and Great Lent Fasting and Great Lent Fasting and Great Lent
The word “fast” means not eating all or certain foods. As Orthodox Faithful, we can fast completely at certain times of great importance, and especially each time before receiv­ing Holy Communion. Usually, fasting means limiting the number of meals and/or the type of food eaten. The purpose of fasting is to remind us of the Scriptural teaching, “Man does not live by bread alone.” The needs of the body are nothing compared to the needs of the soul. Above all else, we need God, Who provides everything for both the body and the soul. Fasting teaches us to depend on God more fully.
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