From The Word Magazine, March 1994, Page 35
SUGGESTIONS FOR GREAT LENT
(from the Orthodox Observer)
We are on the threshold of Great Lent: the 40-day period of fasting, prayer, soul-searching and general preparation for Holy Pascha. This is the time when serious Orthodox Christians strive to make the small sacrifices and “go that extra mile” to reaffirm Christ’s victory on the Cross. There are many ways in which we can do this. The pastor of St George Church in Albuquerque, N.M., Fr. Dimitri Callozzo, offers a few suggestions:
1. Take time to think about yourself as a Christian. Examine yourself to determine areas of spiritual stability as well as’areas of weakness and failure.
2. Repent for your mistakes and shortcomings and resolve in your mind to strive to correct yourself.
3. If you have made serious mistakes, if you have committed mortal sin, have the moral courage to admit it and to see your priest at the Confessional. Be honest with yourself.
4. If you are not on speaking terms with relatives or friends, do what you can within reason to correct the argument or misunderstanding.
5. Build up some discipline through fasting.
6. Cultivate other practices of spiritual growth. Don’t waste time. Study the Holy Books and other beneficial material. Make it a point to worship every Sunday and be on time. Build up the habit, of prayer, at least in the morning and before going to bed at night.
7. During Holy Week come in person to participate in the Sacrament of Holy Unction and in the other Services as well, Prepare to receive Holy Communion “with the Fear of God, with Faith and with Love.”
8. Work at your spiritual growth and salvation as if everything depended on you. Trust in the Lord as if everything depended on Him: It does!
9. Always remember who you are and Who you represent. “if you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
10. The Bible, the Church, the Sacraments have one purpose: to lead you to Jesus Christ. The ultimate question is this: Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord? And do you strive sincerely, persistently and patiently to be His disciple?