Monday, April 4, 2016

Be Steadfast in Great Lent

The fourth week of Great Lent starts off with advice for to remain steadfast. “He who is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.” (Proverbs 11.19) It has been a long three weeks, but with the Veneration of the Holy Cross yesterday recalling our need to embrace the struggle of Great Lent and meet our Lord at the Cross, today we begin another week of intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving to defeat evil in our lives.

Last week I suggested making an appointment for Holy Confession. I pray you took advantage of your Spiritual Father and offered your confession. This week I would like to encourage you to seek out a ministry in your Church, or better, in your town or city, where you can serve other people in some sort of charity. Today’s reading in Proverbs also reminds us, “One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” (Proverbs 11.24) We grow closer to our Lord, richer in blessings from God, when we serve and give to others.

As you contemplate the second half of Great Lent, now that you have, more or less, perfected the fasting part of your journey, move it to the next level and add charity into the mix. Attend the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts, Great Compline, and any other services you can attend in the Church, but don’t neglect serving others with charity. Great Lent is a journey of prayer, fasting, AND almsgiving. Without any one of these, you won’t have the full benefit.

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