Although in the West Lent begins this coming (Ash) Wednesday, in the Byzantine Church the Great Fast (“Lent”) begins tomorrow.
For the duration of the Fast, I’m going to be off social media and I’m also not going to be posting anything here at the blog. I’ll be back on April 16th, Easter Sunday…which also happens to be my birthday 🙂
If you’re looking for something to do during Lent, I’d recommend reading a book of the Bible, Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians in particular. A couple of years ago, I did a video series during Lent on that book of the Bible. You can either watch all the videos on YouTube or check in at the site’s Facebook page where I’ll be uploading the videos several times a week.
In the Byzantine Church, as part of our final preparation for Lent, tonight we celebrate “Forgiveness Vespers”. It is similar to the usual service of Vespers, but we also ask for forgiveness from each other for any hurts we have inflicted upon one another this past year. It therefore seemed appropriate to share in this final post a quotation from my spiritual father, Fr. Nicholas:
“At one and the same time, forgiving is the hardest thing in the world and the easiest. It is the hardest because we don’t want to. It is the easiest when we let Jesus do it”
– Our God Heals, Fr. Nicholas Broadbridge
Next week Lent begins and all the Western Catholics will be getting their ashes. Make sure you know the different types!
Lent is now on the horizon. If you’re looking for some creative Lent ideas, I thoroughly recommend that you check out the following post from my friend, Meg Hunter-Kilmer, entitled 100 Things to Do for Lent:
Meg has lots of great suggestions as to how one can embrace the Church’s exhortation to pray, fast and give alms. If you’re looking to have a more creative, out-of-the-ordinary Lent, please give it a read.
If you’d like to know more about Meg, or if you’d like to get energized about Lent, Meg was also recently interviewed on Fountain of Carrots where you’ll get to hear how she approaches the upcoming liturgical season:
If you belong to an Eastern parish, then Lent starts tomorrow with “Clean Monday”. This means it’s time for strict abstinence: no meat, no dairy, no eggs…yaaaaay… In an effort to cheer myself up, I came up with some memes:
I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook celebrating the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (including some memes I created a few years ago!), but today is also the feast day of St. Ephrem The Syrian, the only Deacon Doctor of the Church:
Here’s the prayer we pray particularly often during Lent (“The Great Fast”) in the Eastern Church:
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages. Amen.