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!), and trying something that is beyond their spiritual and physical capabilities sets them up for failure, and sometimes, despair. Even if they succeed in their fasting goal, they miss out on improving themselves in more important ways. Remember: Nobody is saved because of fasting (but those who are being saved fast).
There is only ONE important resolution to make for the Great Fast. It is mentioned (in so many words and images) constantly in our services. We will mention that one in a little bit. …
A critical “Christian Life Skill” is to pray for others. This is an expression of love. We must also especially pray for our enemies or those who have wronged us, to root out any vestiges of bitterness. Here are simple, practical ideas to add prayer for others to your way of life, cutting through excuses, lack of time, confusion, fatigue, and distraction
Christian Life Skills: The Jesus prayer Pray without ceasing New Testament Challenge and theJesus Prayer Challenge Nov 11/24 25th Tuesday after Pentecost[U1] Recently, on various blogs I fail miserably in keeping up with, the “ New Testament Challenge” has been proposed. This is a suggestion to read the entire NT during the Nativity Fast.… Continue reading Christian Life Skills. The Jesus prayer Pray without ceasing. New Testament Challenge and the Jesus Prayer Challenge
October 6/19 20th Holy Apostle Thomas, 20th Monday after Pentecost I did not know much about life skills back then, but I got one right at least! At college, about 1980, on Valentine’s Day. This picture is still in my bible from back then. Lets us be perfectly honest with one-another; we do… Continue reading Christian Life Skills – The Four Bows. Give the first fruits of your day to the Lord
Oct 1/Oct 14 2009 19th Wednesday after Pentecost. Protection of the Theotokos I am starting a series of articles on “Life Skills”. This term is used regarding simple and necessary skills needed to succeed in modern life, raise a baby, etc. For instance, young mothers may be taught to not put their baby to bed… Continue reading Christian Life Skills – Being on time