March 7, 2022

Homily on the Monday of the First Week of Great Lent (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

We have come to the holy fast. Thanks be to the Lord God that He gives us time to repent of our sins. I consider it useful to say now to you, pious listeners, a few words about what we should mainly do during the days of the holy fast.

What to do now? Now, according to the rules of the Church, we abstain from food and drink. Yes, it is necessary, and it is necessary not only to abstain, that is, to eat and drink less, but it is necessary to eat and drink only what the Holy Church does not forbid. However, this is not the strength of the fast. In what is it then? Now, more than at other times, we pray to God, listen to the word of God. Yes, it is necessary, more necessary than abstinence itself. As often as possible, one should pray and listen to the word of God. While doing these things, owe should fall asleep, and with these things we should also wake up from sleep.

However, this is not the strength of fasting, but, pious listeners, this is. It is necessary in these days to pay all your attention to sins - to remember and acknowledge sins, to lament and cry about sins. For this, in fact, fasting was established, for this we must abstain from food and drink, for this we must pray to God and listen to the word of God. For from these occupations, from fasting and prayer, and from listening to the word of God, our sins most easily come to our minds, and our repentance for them is most likely born in us.

And since it is most difficult for us, sinners, to recognize ourselves as sinners, and even more difficult to grieve over sins, it is necessary, remembering our sins, to ask God to awaken in us sorrow and contrition for sins. "Yes, Lord the King, grant me to see my sins" - we must constantly cry out to God both in church and at home. Yes, we are so weak and cursed that we cannot recognize ourselves as sinners unless God awakens this consciousness in us.

Therefore, listeners, especially during the days of fasting, let us remember and acknowledge all the sins we have committed; let us lament and weep before God that we are accursed sinners, in order thus to purify our souls from sinful defilements by repentance and to be sanctified by communion of the Holy Mysteries. This is the whole power of fasting, this is what we should mainly deal with now. Yes, holy fasting will only be holy for us when we recognize ourselves as sinners; our fasting will be useless, our prayer will be useless if we do not recognize ourselves as sinners.

God! Hear the prayer of your unworthy servant and all these servants of yours; give to your servants contrition of heart and remorse for sins, for by them we have angered our Creator; grant them your grace, so that they are encouraged and supported by it, they will bring their evil deeds to memory, and they will confess all this in fear before their spiritual father. Amen.