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Great Lent - Alter Your Perception

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  • Originally Recorded: February 20, 2012

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on March 11, 2013

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This inspiration message is meant to give us direction and purpose as we begin the fasting of Great Lent. 
www.mgocsmamerica.com

Great Lent - Alter Your Perception Transcription

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal" 2 Corinthians 10:4

There is a battle that is going on everyday around you and within you. It is a battle for your heart. This unseen warfare is apparent in the tumultous roller coaster ride that we endure throughout our life. In order to survive the battle, the church prescribes a necessary medicine called Lent. Every year, we as Orthodox Christians are called to spend the next fifty days to physically, mentally, and spiritually repair and refocus ourselves on Christ our God.

However most people completely misunderstand the meaning and method of observing Lent. One of the major misconceptions is an ever increasing trend to find things to give up during Lent, such as certain foods, tv, or facebook. Like any medicine, it is important to read the directions in order to properly understand how to use it. As the directions prescribed by St. Ephriam, we are called to sincerely be able to pray throughout the lenten time the following prayer:

"Oh Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servants.  Oh Lord and king, grant me to see my own errors, and not to judge my brother for thou are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen"

The sacrifices of vain pleasures are noble, but Great Lent should not be about denial. It is all about self transformation through Christ. Instead of focusing on what we are giving up, let us focus on how we will enrich our faith through Christ, and prepare ourselves to receive the resurrected Lord. Each of us is capable of great things and spreading this ministry, but this begins within ourselves.

In this spirit, the MGOCS of North America has set the official theme for the year 2012 to be "Alter Your Perception". This lent, let us altar our peception by commiting to further improve our spiritual life through more worship, more study, and more service. Let us regularly adhere to the lenten prayers and prostrations. Let us read the bible to spiritually strengthen and edify ourselves. Let us serve those in need and also partake in charity and stewardship. Let us confess before the Lord all our sins and wholeheartedly receive the holy body and blood of Christ our God, so that we may be transformed by Him.

But it doesn't end there. Do not view Easter as the end of our journey but the beginning and continuation of a lifelong transformation. Do not settle to me a mere Sunday Christian, but aspire to be a true follower of Christ. May the practices you adhere to during this lent become a part of your very being and may you alter your perception and be transformed through Christ.