Spring Cleaning for the Soul

198065.pForgiveness Sunday

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. Continue reading

Uncovering Joy in Following the Rules

July 19/August 1, 2012, Uncovering of the Relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov

36759-bWe travel to our friends’ house today in the afternoon and evening to celebrate the Baptism of their son and my new godson. That’s right. I became a godfather of a child in Russia! Another reason to keep coming back: heavenly family added to my earthly family here.

I was talking with our friend at the Baptism on Sunday, and she pressed me for the answer to the question I posed earlier in the blog about why Russians love St. Seraphim so much. I confessed to her that I had been working on the answer and had come to some conclusions, but I was pretty sure they were not correct or merely one-sided. Then I asked her what she thought. Continue reading