Great Lent is upon Us

It has finally arrived. The day that I have been looking forward to since I was chrismated almost a year ago. It was the Lenten services that convinced me that I wanted to become an Orthodox Christian before our Orthodox wedding and I was so sad when Pascha arrived that I had not properly prepared. It was like arriving to a formal dinner in jeans and a t-shirt. I’m sure it happens to many people; the day arrives and you simply have not prepared the way that you wanted to, but for me, it was ignorance about what I was missing. I told myself right then that I would never again show up to the dinner in jeans.

Of course, NEVER is a strong word and I’m sure at times during this journey, I will still arrive to the feast without preparing. But that is why our priests always tell us the parable about the man who hired workers throughout the day and in the end, paid them all the same amount, no matter how much they had worked. Even if you arrive in the 11th hour, it is not too late. It is never too late. And that use of NEVER is not too strong, but rather 100% true.

Dear Lord, the time has come and surely do not feel prepared. My body is weak and so is my stomach. This is not the way that I wanted to arrive at this day. But perhaps that is the way that you wanted it: a willing but weak servant who knows the weakness, worry, and fear are there because they are not hiding behind some pride. Lord have mercy on us as we begin this 40 day journey. Give us strength, humility, and a new perspective. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but if it were all easy, I doubt it would be worth doing. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto the ages of ages, amen.

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