Did you notice, that after the first week of Great Lent, we had passed through about half of the Triodion? That is another amusing reminder of Orthodoxy. How can it be that we have passed through half but yet Great Lent will last for another 5 weeks plus Holy Week? In the wisdom of the Church, we prepared for several weeks to go through a rigorous week of special training and focus so as to be able to listen and learn attentively for the remainder of Great Lent.
Listening is the key to obedience and following God’s commandments. It is central to harnessing our will: both what we desire and the power to attain what we desire. We could talk endlessly about fighting the passions yet such a battle will be futile if our intellect does not perceive, accept, and employ the holy words and actions and energies we receive from the Services of the Church, the Holy Scriptures, and our venerable Fathers and Mothers to order our steps according to God’s commandments. (Ps 118.133) We pray at the Hours: “Sanctify our souls, hallow our bodies, correct our thoughts, cleanse our minds.”
How do we get from one point to the next? First, make every effort to attend and to be present to the services offered in some way: in person or online. Second, take time — yes, more time — to prepare beforehand by fasting, prayer, and the texts of the service and after to reflect and remember what you have heard and experienced. Quality not quantity is the emphasis because our attention or attentiveness is important in the training of our minds to focus and be directed to God. This is why the venerable ascetics constantly referred to “the remembrance of God.” Our intellects have great power to turn our entire being away into involvement in other things or to bring together all of our thoughts and seek entry into the experiences we have of God — God’s energies. The Holy Spirit will work with us to direct our intellect and to unite our will. “God is with us, understand all nations and submit yourselves for God is with us” (Great Compline). Let us “Pray urgently, O saints, to Him who dwells among the holy ones, that in these holy days He may sanctify the minds of all the faithful.” Saturday in the Third Week
+ There is the joy of the Lenten services and extra readings.
+Friends have come for work days. Little by little the grounds are shaping up.
+One cell has been painted and finishing touches are being done to complete and furnish it.
+A couple of more parishes have ordered candles. It would be wonderful if more parishes would support the monastery by ordering candles.
+The monastery’s online store was launched. For now, it is modest, but God willing and with some funding, it can be expanded to help in supporting the monastery.
+There is a need for monetary donations to support and furnish the monastery.
There was an internet interruption when this was posted, so it was not possible to upload photos on 4/4. Photos added 4/9.