...And thus begins lent. Forgiveness Vespers last night put me into such a joyous mood that it's no wonder I woke up feeling happy and eager to start this season that cumulates into the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord.
I started reading Fr. Thomas Hopko's The Lenten Spring this morning and I was moved by this passage:
"The lenten spring is welcomed by Christians in the Church not as the time for self-inflicted agony or self-improving therapy. It is greeted as the sanctified season consecrated to the correction, purification and enlightenment of the total person through the fulfillment of the commandments of the crucified God. It is received as the time for battling with evil spirits and blossoming with the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22). It is accepted as "the great and saving forty days" set apart for complete and total dedication to the things of God. It is the "tithe of the year" which tells us that all times and seasons belong to the Lord who has created and redeemed the world."*
I need to be sure to remember this this season, that it's not about denying myself, but a time to correct my sins and ask God for the forgiveness I so desperately need. I'm so happy to be a part of the Orthodox family. Thank you so much fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for welcoming Granite and I into the family, I feel truly blessed.
*Hopko, T. (2003). The Lenten spring. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir's Seminary Press.