(Mark 9, 17-31)
There are still three weeks remaining before the Resurrection of the Lord. Let us plead deeply for God to help us to accomplish that which we haven’t yet done until today. Many of us start Great Lent well. We enter the struggle with zeal, with gusto and jubilance.We fast from foods not only in terms of quality but also in terms of quantity, and spiritual fasting, fasting from the passions. Yes, many souls are struggling during this time. They are more cautious, have increased their prayer, and go to Church more regularly.
However, as many of those who up until now did exactly what they could do and don’t feel – let’s take it in this way – that they’ve skipped over anything (I don’t know how easy it is to find such a person), there are just as many of us who in this way or that relax or lose ourselves. And for this reason it is necessary for us to renew our zeal. This is a great opportunity –the three weeks that remain –to intensify our struggle and to remember that while Great Lent is certainly a period of fasting, it is most essentially a period of repentance. The other things -some fasting, some prayer, some spiritual study –are painless. What costs us is repentance, since repentance is the death of ourselves. And real repentance is impossible unless we put ourselves to death. We won’t spiritually prosper, without having this purpose: to die, to abolish our ‘self’. And it is this that happens through repentance. For this reason, all of the troparia in this period are connected to fasting; however, the spirit of these troparia is repentance.
(from the Second volume of the Book of Triodions)
Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos
4th Sunday of the Fast. Good repentance