Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Great Preparation

The Great Preparation

Lent is the great preparation for the renewal of the entirety of creation through the coming resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Lenten spotlight in Holy Orthodoxy for this preparation is not only a physical culinary change, but also the clarification of our inner life. Is our focus on being with God or on how others may judge us? And then, we have to come to terms with our judgment of others.

So, Lent begins with forgiveness, with reconciliation, with reparation among those that should and ought to love one another.

Yet often we base our inner life on the outer world rather than engage the inner life in all our worldly activities.

Fr. John Brian uses our instant judgment of a church by its outward appearance as an indicator of how we get stuck in our desire for oneness with God.

Sacred places are places where God dwells and Lent is preparing a sacred place in our hearts. Yet, so often the outward appearance of a person seems to be more important than their heart and soul.

"However, many of us feel more welcomed by an empty church," says Fr John Brian, "than in a church full of people." This is a real problem in our modern Orthodox churches and congregations.

Fr. John-Brian speaks to further spiritual development and encouragement in this short inspirational sermon.

Please pray for Fr. John Brian who remains committed to us in the continuing development of Christian Spirituality.

This sermon uses and refers to scripture readings appointed by the Syrian Orthodox calendar and was given on Sunday, March 2, 2014 by Fr. John-Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

Please pray for our mission chapel and all our spiritual helpers.


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