Great Lent provides us with the opportunity to reorient our lives, that we may use the time we have on earth in redeeming ways, for the salvation of our soul. Psychology even recognizes the usefulness of a 40-day time period to formulate new habits: this should not surprise us, since the Lord has revealed this truth through the lives of saints for centuries.

Great Lent is a real determining factor in shaping our spiritual life the rest of the year. We can assume that Orthodox faithful will attend to the "big" things in the spiritual life: attending Sunday Liturgy, saying morning and evening prayers, Confessing and Communing.

But what about the "little things"? Consider:

• Redeeming our workspace, office, locker, exercise area by hanging an icon or three, and reverencing with the Sign of the Cross when you enter and depart.

• Praying for colleagues and friends at school, teams, etc.

• Attending one service and/or spiritual talk during the week, each week.

• Blessing your children, spouse, friends, and visitors with the Sign of the Cross as they depart or as they sleep (yes, even the saints did this in secret - c.f. St John Maximovich).

As we begin Great Lent, we are called to redeem our lives in fasting and prayer. It is in these "little" things, done consistently, that we find our lives truly sanctified, and our hearts truly made steady and loving. Our time is too short to miss the opportunity.

- FrG+