All Saints of North America Orthodox Church (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

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March - April 2007

SURVIVING GREAT LENT - AND FLOURISHING

Most of us remember days in our life that have been so packed with activity that we skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner - or even all three. As a result, we can end up functioning for a whole day or more, depleted of energy, lethargic, or depressed. Surrounded by such plenty as we are in Canada, it is ironic that we often neglect to take advantage of the resources right in front of us, resources that would make our lives easier, and happier.

Is it not different when it comes to the spiritual food we need in the Christian life. Particularly during Great Lent, the Lord provides numerous opportunities to be spiritually strengthened through prayer, the Holy Mysteries, and learning about our Holy Faith.

Do we take advantage of these opportunities? Do we make a point of attending the Divine Liturgy, and partaking of Holy Communion each Sunday during Great Lent?

Do we prepare ourselves for the Liturgy, by attending Vespers, and going to Holy Confession?

Do we deepen our prayers by attending the midweek services, the Canon of St. Andrew, Presanctified Liturgy, and Akathists?

Do we keep the Fast to the best of our strength? And do we humble our hearts in prayer, throughout every hour of the day?

Without physical food, we can soon find ourselves physically drained. Without spiritual food, the effects are not always immediately visible - but they are much longer lasting and far-reaching.

Great Lent is the time for us to begin to regain our health, not just in "spiritual things," but in the very heart of our life as Orthodox Christians, which impacts on every corner of our lives.

And we can't just wait for Pascha to do it.

- FrG+

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