Great Lent is at about the halfway point. How are you doing? Is getting through Lent a chore or a pleasure?
I previously provided some tips on getting through Lent without going crazy. But I do realize that “getting through” Lent is the wrong attitude. Lent is our preparation to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. It’s how the Church has prepared for centuries.
But I’m human, and fairly new at this. I’m trying to apply the things I wrote to my own life. So far, results vary.
For the first time since I began my journey to Orthodoxy, fasting is not the great challenge that it has been. I’ve slipped and stumbled. But for the most part I’ve tried to eat simply and not focus on food as a source of pleasure. My family has been a great help. We are in this together, and that gives us all a strength we wouldn’t have alone.
I’m praying more than I used to. But not as much as I should. We should “pray without ceasing.” This will be a lifelong process for me, I know. But praying with my family has become one of my favorite things. As we slowly add more prayer into our daily lives, it becomes an easy habit to keep.
We’re attending services. But again, not as many as we should. We allow activities to get in the way. We find excuses.
It’s difficult to make church the center of your life if this is not already your practice. But again, we are trying. Our priest is a model of dedication, and we would do well to follow his example.
We are trying to do good works, in a number of ways. Giving our time as well as our money is an effort, but it’s rewarding. We could do more. And I’m sure as time goes on, we will.
I realize that I tend to focus on the things I’m not doing. My wife is much better and pointing out how much we have done right. She reminds me how far we have come in our journey.
Drawing closer to God through the Church is a process. It’s a lifelong effort. You will stumble along the way, as I do. But each time you pick yourself up and keep moving, you are one step closer.
I pray that the second half of Great Lent is a time of renewed dedication for you. Pray for me and my family as we use this time to prepare for Pascha. And please do let me know how your journey is going. We are in this together.
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