My apologies, my head is stopped up and I need to rest. But briefly as we are approaching Lent, I would like to talk about it a bit.
Lent has three emphases:
Preparation for Baptism.
Restoration of sinners to communion.
For those preparing for Baptism on Easter, I say fast and pray, you are getting ready to become saints.
I you are a notorious sinner, then on or before Shrove Tuesday (Shrove is past tense of shrive, which is old English for absolve) you need to go to the priest and confess your sins. He will then pronounce a penance for you to keep for Lent so as to be readmitted to communion at the Great Vigil Serice.
Spiritual purgation. Lent is not about giving up chocalates for God, but about making ourselves better servants. Fasting is usually a part of this. We ask our congregation to abstain from meat during Lent, and to skip at least one meal on every Friday of Lent, and to fast completely on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Some for medical reasons may not fast, no problem. Give up a favourite food. Put away the TV or radio for Lent. Spend more time praying, reading the Bible, telling others about Christ. If you skip a meal, read the Bible in its place. Take the money you save and help the poor.
If you are giving up some noxious habit for Lent such as smoking or gossipping, resolve not to give it up just for Lent, but for all time. If you have besetting sins, see the priest of anachamra for help.
For more help, (and Lent is rapidly approaching, we have a Lenten Discipline Worksheet. For me to email you one as an attachment in wordplese email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and place Lenten Discipline Workshee in the subject line.
Blessings to all,
+Mar Michael Abportus, OS>