Wednesday, February 28

Lenten Reflection #1

Many people tend to see Lent as the spiritual "playoffs" in their lives. That is, they strive to be on their best behavior and commit to one or more specific sacrifices, often culinary, in an effort to take their spiritual life to "the next level" just as an athletic team attempts to limit mistakes and peak once the championship is on the line.

Truly, Easter is the "Super Bowl" of Christianity. No greater victory has or can ever be won than Christ's victory over death on Golgotha.

"You were also crucified, O Christ, our God, and by death have trampled death, being one of the Holy Trinity, and glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us." — Hymn of the Incarnation, Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Rather than seeing Lent as the end, the culmination of our spiritual lives, we should treat it rather as the beginning, a "spring training" to prepare ourselves for the year ahead. Just as a baseball player who wants to "make the team", takes inventory of his skills and shortcomings before each season, now is the time to note our faults, to work to improve them, to push ourselves to imitate the King of Glory for the year ahead and forever.

The Jesus Prayer is an excellent way to start this internal reflection.

Wednesday, February 21

Remember, man, you are from dust, and to dust you shall return

"And he was in the desert forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by Satan; and he was with beasts, and the angels ministered to him." — Mark 1:13

So begins the season of penance and sacrifice.

Sunday, February 11

Oh, Portugal!

"Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God. 3 Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee. " — Apocalypse 3:2-3