Monday, February 19, 2007

Lent Begins

We have had two services in Lent so far: Forgiveness Vespers last night and Orthros this morning. At the end of the vesperal service, beginning with the priests, deacons, and professors, we asked forgiveness of each other, individually bending down before each icon of Christ, kissing and begging in humble joy.

This morning, as usual, was a struggle to wake up (several times). But in the light of the chapel, each face was reflecting the morning light, many almost haggard-looking. (Or maybe that's just the way I felt so early.) The beauty of last night's calisthenics in the darkened church was brought forward into light, as each person I saw seemed to be even more a representation of Christ ... even the ones I didn't particularly like for one or another trivial reason.

We had a beautiful reflection on chastity given by Dna. Vassi. She said several things I particularly enjoyed, but this one especially: that everything she would say, she hoped we already knew, but perhaps, as she sometimes did, we needed a reminder. So often I find myself tuning things out, because I have convinced myself, "Oh, I already know that" when it may be a lesson I have yet to learn, like the story about the priest who preaches the same sermon Sunday after Sunday—his parishoners get worried: "Father, how long are you going to preach the same sermon?" "Until you listen."

My husband says that today is one of the strict fasting days, and he is planning to not eat until the evening. I am going to try to join him, but my stomach is already rumbling, trying to call my attention (as usual) to myself and what I want. God grant me the grace to continue on my journey to obeying His desires for me.

Forgive me, my brothers and sisters, a sinner.

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

Have a blessed Lent !
God grant us all His Forgiveness and Grace....
forgive me a sinner.

Tue Feb 20, 12:29:00 AM CST  
Blogger Mimi said...

I forgive, as God forgives.

Forgive me, my sister.

Tue Feb 20, 01:08:00 PM CST  

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