Great Lent is rapidly approaching! It is time for us to prepare our hearts and the hearts of our children for the work that lies ahead. While Great Lent is not an “easy” time for any of us, it is certainly a wonderful opportunity for us to focus on God and what is truly important to our souls. Lent can be a beautiful time of housecleaning, balanced spiritual climbing, and growing together as a family.
We can embrace Lent as an opportunity for internal housekeeping. Listen to Molly Sabourin’s “Close to Home” podcast about this internal cleaning at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/closetohome/cleaning_house. May we all cooperate with God fully and become more fastidious with our souls during this lenten season.
We need to approach Lent with the balanced tripod of works of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Read George Tsongranis (assistant director of the catechism program at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida)’s take on this, at http://www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/family/files/balancing_great_lent.pdf. May we indeed work on all three areas in our lives, so that we can stay balanced throughout the lenten season, and be supported in our spiritual climb.
We need to prepare for (and progress through) Great Lent together as a family. Khouria Krista West gives very practical tips for families to approach Great Lent at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/kwtailor/preparing_for_lent1. May we approach this season together as a family, and focus on growing TOGETHER, rather than allowing the challenges of the season to pull us apart.
“Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man,
take pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do
not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the feet, and the hands
and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free of
avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast, by
disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ears by not
listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from foul words and
unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and ﬁshes,
but bite and devour our brothers?”
-St. John Chrysostom
May we all grow closer to God with each day of Great Lent. May we open our hearts to His great work in our lives. May we enthusiastically embrace this time. Most of all, may we help our children learn to do so, as well.