By His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas
of Mesogaias and Lavreotiki
Great Lent is a period of spiritual opportunities and expectations for the entire Church. We wait for it all year with an inner thirst, those often undefined dreams which are yet so deep, because God promises great things for this period, as well as our entire lives. Our purpose is for our soul to climb to heaven, that we may become heavenly people. These days that are opening up before us provide us this opportunity through the struggle of repentance. Let us see therefore some of the characteristics that this struggle should have.
The first is forgiveness. It is an expression of love, a sense of community, that we are all together and of one mind on this journey, at this task, in this expectation of the blessing of God. We let go of our own space and we enter the space of God where everyone fits and nothing distinguishes us.
The second is to not only enter the space of God, but to enter into the time of God, where God is most prevalent, where worldly events do not play a role, where even our own personal history has importance but it degenerates - if we could say - before how God acts.
The third characteristic is our willingness to work towards the virtues, those virtues needed for our soul in the current situation. Let each one of us focus on working towards our own virtues, those that will release us, those which will be our own windows through which will glimmer the divine presence.
There is also a fourth. It is the expectation and preparation for temptations. In this period of high goals, great desires, a rare and unique blessing would not be strange at all if we found ourselves to be in temptations, unexpected ones, such as that we could not possibly imagine. What a great legacy is the help of God in the fight against the devil and the various temptations, not only against the passions that each of us must carry!
So we enter the space of God and we forgive. We enter the time of God and we are at rest. We work eagerly and honorably towards the virtues. We prepare for temptations and pray and live at the point of divine assistance.
Se let us begin Great Lent with these boundless interior feelings, the internal excess of our love and our desire and our philotimo and in expectation of the visitation of God, that we may all together at the end of this period enjoy excessively the gifts of the Resurrection of the Lord which are not kept for the angels, but are offered within the Church to every believer and therefore to each of us.
I pray that God gives everyone a good and blessed and productive and fruitful and joyous and truly Great Lent with an abundant harvest, that we may be made worthy after seven weeks to become sharers in His Resurrection. Amen.
Great Lent 2014
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.