March 9, 2011

Spiritual life...

My girls are happy to embark on Great Lent...they like reading the prayer of St. Ephraim in the mornings and evenings together!
This week, we read the beautiful repentant canon of St. Andrew of Crete (he is shown in the above icon with St. Mary, who was born in Egypt, living as a prostitute, but changed her life completely, abandoning worldly temptations by living in the desert, because she is a wonderful example of repentance) in the evenings. During Great Lent, as Orthodox Christians, we abstain from all animal products (meat, eggs, milk) as the Lord fasted for 40 days in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-2). I wonder if he fasted by foraging for foods, eating only plants? It's a time to spiritually cleanse or detox ourselves, our soul, like spring cleaning...and I always think I feel so much better (physically, too)!

The fast is 40 days, and then we have 7 more days, Holy Week. The raising of Lazarus from the dead, which prefigures the Lord's Resurrection, the Lord's entry into Jerusalem, The Last Supper, His Crucifixion and then in culmination, we celebrate his glorious Resurrection!


Barbara Bassett said...

Martha, This is beautiful. We love the photos and the icon - where did you find it.

amanda. said...

hey there... i just randomly found your blog & now am realizing that you are in cincinnati, too!

my family has just begun attending an orthodox church & i'm marveling at how small the world is, sometimes.

Brigitte said...

A blessed Lent to you, Martha! You know, I also always feels o good physically during fasts that our family finally adopted a semi-vegan diet (whole grain, plant-based).