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Pastoral Message for the Great Fast 2017

His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH's
Pastoral Message for the Great Fast 2017

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." Isaiah 40:8


Beloved Clergy and Faithful of this God-protected Archdiocese:

The season of the Great Fast is upon us in preparation of the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ! Now is the time when the Orthodox Church invites her children to live His passion and sacrifice on the Cross to conquer sin and death, and take up abode in His Father's mansions (John 14:2). The Church calls us during this season to a clearheaded reexamination of our lives and relationship with Christ; her Bridegroom. Now is the time to ask: have I been walking with Christ? Will I crucify the "old me" during this time and rise as the "new me" with a pure heart, mind, soul and body with the risen Christ, worthy to inherit the His eternal kingdom? During this time, the soul is renewed every day and made beautiful with fasting, prayer and repentance. These days are also a sanctuary in which we all gather more frequently for worship in our churches and find spiritual stillness. One of the famed "doctors" of the Church explains this period for us:
(read the full message...)

Great Lent:

REMEMBER ME, O LORD, WHEN THOU

COMEST INTO THY KINGDOM!


O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust of power and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (The Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian)

Feast, Saints, and A Thought for the Day


Fourth Sunday of Great Lent: Commemoration of John Climacus, Author of "The Ladder" (March 26)

The barren wilderness thou didst make fertile with the streams of thy tears; and by thy deep sighing thou hast given fruit through thy struggles a hundred-fold. Accordingly, thou hast become a star for the universe, sparkling with miracles. Therefore, O righteous Father John Climacus, intercede with Christ God to save our souls. (Apolytikion in Tone 8)

Saints of the Day

The synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel; Stephen the Confessor

 
Thought for the Day

"The barren wilderness thou didst make fertile with the streams of thy tears; and by thy deep sighing thou hast given fruit through thy struggles a hundredfold. Accordingly, thou hast become a star for the universe, sparkling with miracles. Therefore, O righteous Father John Climacus, intercede with Christ God to save our souls." -- Apolytikion of St. John Climacus

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Fasting Calendar
Legend:
Red - Abstain from meat, fish, dairy, eggs, alcohol, oil
Green - Abstain from meat, fish, dairy, eggs
Blue - Abstain from meat, dairy, eggs
Gold - Abstain from meat

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