Friday, March 07, 2014

Friday of first week of Great Lent 2014

Dear Ones:
We have made it to day 5.
This as it always does first week of Lent,
feel like an accomplishment.

I was reading this and thought I would share:


Timothy was a recluse in a place called Symbola on the Asiatic side of Mount
Olympus. In his youth, Timothy entered a monastery, was tonsured a monk and until old age spent his earthly time in fasting, prayer, vigils and ceaseless labor. He remained pure and chaste throughout his entire life. To the pure and chaste God gives authority over evil spirits and He gave this to Timothy. Though his labors for the salvation of his soul, St. Timothy succeeded to build in himself a beautiful home for the Holy Spirit. This holy man died in the year 795 A.D.

Emphasis mine, from Feb 21 Prologue of Ohrid.
This is why we engage in Lenten disciplines, 
whether it is fasting, more Scripture reading or other ways.
It is to create room in us, and make it beautiful, for 
the Holy Spirit. 

It was a challenging week for me and for many
if not all of my Christian friends who practice Lenten disciplines.
For we who are Orthodox our Lent begins this past
Monday with 'Clean Monday' that Martha blogged a 
moving story about, showing how it used to be or rather
what it can be for our souls.

I think this also shows what is going on, 
in a more dramatic way...
why we have such crazy temptations the first week of 
Great Lent:
As long as a man only philosophizes about God he is weak and completely helpless against the evil spirit. The evil spirit ridicules the feeble sophistry of the world. But, as soon as a man begins to fast and to pray to God, the evil spirit becomes filled with indescribable fear. In no way can the evil spirit tolerate the aroma of prayer and fasting. The sweet-smelling aroma chokes him and weakens him to utter exhaustion. In a man who only philosophizes about faith, there is spacious room in him for the demons. But in a man who sincerely begins to pray to God and to fast with patience and hope, for the demon it becomes narrow and constricted and he must flee from such a man.
May God bless us and encourage us!
May He carry us to His Holy Pascha...His Holy Resurrection!