NB: Just one resolution for Great Lent. Fasting and prayer

Many people make some sort of resolution when they enter Great Lent. Usually it is something we have not done before, or perhaps done poorly. The one who has fasted poorly in the past may decide to keep the fast better – to not eat any meat or animal products, and some may even be zealous to keep the fast from oil and wine and fish. The one who keeps the fasts may be zealous to not eat anything at all for the first three days of Great Lent, or eat only one meal a day, which, according to the strict typikon, is “after the ninth hour” (about 3 in the afternoon).

In my pastoral experience, most people make some sort of fasting related resolution. I applaud their intentions, but sometimes their emphasis on fasting obscures for them the real purpose of the fast (it is not fasting!) …

Clean Wednesday – Thou knowest our frame.

Thou knowest our frame, thou knowest our weakness, O Lover of mankind; we have sinned, but have not turned away from Thee, O God, nor have we stretched out our hands to a strange god. Spare us in Thy goodness, O Compassionate One.
Wednesday in the First Week, Sixth Hour: Troparion of the Prophecy, 4th Tone …

n the course of life, a Christian may feel joy and sadness, grief and exultation, compunction and fervent desire, but he should never feel alone. How can we be alone, when the Lord has already walked the difficult path of human life and fulfilled all righteousness for us?…

Why be righteous? It can be so hard sometimes. Clean Wednesday. Sixth Hour

The Lord is righteous and hath loved righteousness; upon uprightness hath His countenance looked. (Prokeimenon, from Psalm 10, 6th tone, for Wednesday in the First Week of Great Lent)

Why be righteous? It can be so hard sometimes.

Why be righteous? To see the Lord’s face (His countenance). The Lord loves righteousness, because, it causes His beloved creatures to be most like Him. The reason to struggle for righteousness is to become like Him, so that we can see Him as He really is. To the pure all things are pure. If we strive to become pure, we can gaze upon He who is above all purity, and understand. …

Snow in Texas. Hope in the soul.

It has snowed about 12 inches in Dallas Texas! I went to a nearby heavily wooded park with my dog and walked through gigantic fields, expanses of blinding whiteness.

Snow makes me think of purity. It makes me hopeful. It just feels good to walk in the midst of it.

As is usually the case when I am somewhere in an introspective mood, I begin to think in metaphors and feel this welling up in my soul, a desire for change.

Just as snow can cover everything and make it look clean and beautiful, so can my repentance make me clean and beautiful. …