As we observe the first 40 days of Great Lent, we are partaking in the 40 days and 40 nights that our Lord himself sacrificed in the desert. The last 10 days of the Holy Great Lent reminds us of the suffering of our Lord during his Holy Passion Week.
During Great Lent Morning Prayer we pray, ".....there are some who abstain from food and are fasting and at the same time are filled with jealousy and hatred. There are some who keep themselves aloof from alcohol but kill the brethren. Oh, Our Lord! Who became man for our salvation and who observed the lent, bless us to receive the absolution of sins. We must give up all evils, deceits and falsehood and say with pleasure, Lord, bless us in your mercy and grace." During this period of Great Lent we are to give up all "FUN" activities and animal products. Refraining from these things won't make Lent beneficial and complete. Only when these things are coupled with prayer, meditation, and learning scriptures does Lent become the most valuable. People often times remember to give up goods and activities like chocolate, meat, TV, internet, etc but they forget to fill the things given up with these spiritual replacements.
Great lent is a time of prayer, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation with others. By observing Great Lent we should forgive others for their trespasses against us and erase any disputes that we have with others. After we forgive others and make peace with our foes, we should sincerely repent for our sins and seek confession. It is obligated for ALL Orthodox Christians to receive the Holy Sacrament of Confession before or during Passion Week.
As we pass through Mid-lent, please examine yourselves and make sure this Great Lent is of great meaning to you. In the days that we have
remaining in Great Lent 2009, let's continue to fight the temptations of the devil and continue to grow in faith. Please keep in mind, we
are all weak and sinful servants in the presence of the merciful Lord.
I pray you all have a blessed Lenten season,
Dn. Belson Kuriakose,