It always comes as a bit of a shock that morphs quickly into mild panic when we hear, Let us set out with joy upon the season of the fast and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat. Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh; as we fast from food let us abstain also from every passion. (From Lord I Have Cried verses, Sunday of Forgiveness)
I think to myself, “Great Lent is already here? I barely just finished my Christmas ham, and my taxes aren’t done.” Lent seems at first like the last and most recent thing on a very long to-do list, another obligation in a never-ending stream of necessary tasks.
But while we shrink from the prospect of spring cleaning for our soul, let us not forget the second part of the above hymn, Rejoicing in the virtues of the spirit may we persevere with love and so be counted worthy to see the solemn passion of Christ our God and with great spiritual gladness to behold his holy resurrection.
For the goal of great lent as we heard in many sermons this Sunday is none other than the re-creation and restoration of the cosmos in the resurrection of Christ. Who of us does not long for crooked paths to be made straight, vaunted hills to be made low, and valleys to be exalted? So we see that Lent is not simply one more item on our to-do list, but a season which returns us to the one thing needful. May He who suffered, died, and rose from the dead give us strength to endure to the end of these 40 days and allow us to behold his glorious resurrection.
Please forgive and pray for me a sinner, and may our good God have mercy on us and forgive us all. Veliki Post! Kali Tessarakosti! Blessed Lenten journey to you all!