Thoughts At The Threshold Of The Holy Great Lenten Fast

The Prayer of the Publican

By Archbishop Averky Of Syracuse

Money! Money! Power! Honor! these are the temptations which, unfortunately, many people are unable to resist. This is the source of all the disputes, disagreements and divisions among Christians. This is the root of people's forgetting the "one thing needed" which is proposed to us by the true Christian faith and which consists of prayer, acts of repentance, and sincere, unhypocritical charity to our neighbors.

The Holy Church always calls us to this, but especially now, during the Great Lent!

What is required of us Christians is not some kind of "exalted politics," not lofty phrases and hazy philosophy, but the most humble prayer of the Publican: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!", acts of repentance,and doing good to our neighbors, which proceeds from a pure heart.

And it is for the practice of all of this that the Church has established the Great Lent!

How powerfully, colorfully, graphically, and convincingly, with what ardent inspiration is all of this spoken of in the divine services of Great Lent! No one anywhere has such a wealth of edification in this regard as do we Orthodox in our incomparable Lenten services, which, to their shame, the majority of Orthodox in our times do not know at all.





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