“Lent is not a period of self-torture, punishment or paying back debts to God. Lent is the period governed by brotherly love and the feeling of God’s love and of His overwhelming light. Lent is the period in which Divine Grace fills us that we forget to even eat our bread! Lent is when our daily bread becomes the food of the angels – praising God – and feeding the brethren, love”
(Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo)
Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As I greet you in the beginning of this Great Lent, I prostrate and ask for your forgiveness. Please forgive my weaknesses and shortcomings. I humbly ask you to also forgive each other so that our merciful Lord may forgive us all.
The season of Great Lent is now upon us. It is an opportunity to renew and deepen our relationship with Christ, and to renew the choices we make, so that we might live as He taught. Thus, this Holy Season is an opportunity to renew our whole life, to renew our commitment, and to be healed, and move on, and focus on our salvation.
During Lent, we seek time to pray more – alone and with others. We might choose to read something that will nourish our spiritual life and lead us to more focused personal prayer. We might join our Parish community in so many ways, even during the pandemic, by praying for each other, and by a simple phone call that can bring so much consolation and support to others.
When we fast, we usually cut back on what we eat and drink. Not only will this benefit us in a physical way, but it will also help us in our spiritual life. Fasting often leads us to understand that we depend on God to nourish us in every way. We will recognize the blessings we receive every day, which leads us to be ever more grateful and generous.
I invite you to join the Church, the bride of Christ, in her journey to Pascha. As Metropolitan Paul says in the quote I started with, Lent is a time of joy and love. Let us embrace this.
May God grant us a blessed fast by which we can grow in a life of humility, kindness, prayer and repentance, and may we always increase in doing acts of mercy and living in peace with one another!
Have a Blessed Lent!
Your servant in Christ,
Father Paul Kara.