February 2018 Message From Father Peter
Let us begin the fast with joy!
Let us prepare ourselves for spiritual efforts!
Let us cleanse our soul and cleanse our flesh!
Let us abstain from every passion as we abstain from food!
Let us rejoice in virtues of the Spirit and fulfill them in love!
That we all may see the Passion of Christ our God,
And rejoice in spirit at the holy Pascha!
Lord I call Verse Forgiveness Sunday Vespers
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Glory To Jesus Christ! Glory Forever
It is hard to believe that so soon after celebrating the beautiful feasts of The Nativity of Our Lord and Theophany, we have now begun our journey to another spiritually amazing season: that of Great Lent.
As the above hymn which is sung as the Season of the Great Fast begins teaches us, Great Lent is a wonderful gift from the Church. While it is true that Lent is spiritually challenging, its purpose is not to punish us, but rather help us. There is so much spiritual fruit for us to feast on, with the beautiful Divine services and the many opportunities for quiet time and reflection. If we fully take part in the life of the Church during the Great Fast, we will find much peace and spiritual joy. The anticipation of this season, should not cause us to feel dread, but rather, the same eagerness to repent that Zaccheus the Tax Collector experienced.
Make no mistake, Lent requires a lot of effort on our part. We are asked to fast, intensify our personal prayer life at home, make time to attend the various special Lenten services and step up our works of charity. To do this right, we will have to make real changes in our daily schedules and sacrifice some of the little pleasures and creature comforts of life. However, as I said in my homily last Sunday, attitude is everything. If we keep a positive frame of mind as we begin our ascent to the season of the Fast it will indeed be a “Great” Lent for us and our families.
My dear spiritual children, I know we can do it! We have received all the strength we need to make a good start on our Lenten Journey, through our participation in the Great Feasts of Nativity and Theophany. Our homes have been restored to their original purpose as being a spiritual sanctuary, a little church. The Church has opened the gates of repentance and we clearly see the arsenal of spiritual weaponry at our disposal that will help us to be victorious over sin and become spiritually, physically and emotionally stronger in the process. This journey will lead us to the awesome, holy and magnificent celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ! Let us prepare ourselves to take up the armor of faith and embark with a positive, joyful and humble spirit on our Lenten Journey.
With Love in Christ, and Prayers