These holy days which we are devoting to the observance of Lent remind me to speak to you about fraternal agreement, so that whoever has a complaint against another may bring it to an end lest he himself come to an end. Do not despise these words, my brethren.
Be on your guard against these tendencies, then, my dearly beloved. Consider what is written: Go not after thy lusts. If this most salutary precept ought to be observed at all times, how much more fully should it be carried out in these days when the relaxation of our desires in unusual pleasures is so discountenanced that even he who has not restrained his usual pleasures is rightly censured.
What greater mercy could there be than that the Creator be created, the Ruler be served, the Redeemer be sold, the Exalted be humbled, and the Reviver be killed? In regard to almsgiving, we are commanded to give bread to the hungry, but He first gave Himself over to cruel enemies for us so that He might give Himself as food to us when we were hungry. We are commanded to receive the stranger; for our sake He came unto his own and his own received him not.
Let not your fasting be of the kind condemned by the Prophet when he said: Not this fast have I chosen, saith the Lord. For He denounces the fasts of quarrellers; He seeks those of the devout. He denounces those who oppress and seeks those who release. He denounces those who stir up hostilities and seeks those who set free. For, during these days, you restrain your desires from lawful pursuits that you may not do what is unlawful.
Today we enter upon the observance of Lent, the season now presented to us in the passage of the liturgical year. An appropriately solemn sermon is your due so that the word of God, brought to you through my ministry, may sustain you in spirit while you fast in body and so that the inner man, thus refreshed by suitable food, may be able to accomplish and to persevere courageously in the disciplining of the outer man. For, to my spirit of devotion, it seems fitting that we, who are about to honor the Passion of our crucified Lord in the very near future, should fashion for ourselves a cross of the bodily pleasures in need of restraint.
Why is St. Elias such an important and revered Old Testament prophet for Orthodox Christians? What is the typological interpretation of certain events in his life? Blessed Augustine talks about St. Elias as a type of Christ, and the widow of Sarephta as a type of the Church.
For that day is properly called the Day of Judgment, because in it there shall be no room left for the ignorant questioning why this wicked person is happy and that righteous man unhappy. In that day true and full happiness shall be the lot of none but the good, while deserved and supreme misery shall be the portion of the wicked, and of them only.