The First Week of Great Lent - Clean Friday


"Our greatly sinful life and unrepentant disposition do thou forestall through thy compassion, O Lord; beside Thee we know none other, O thou that has dominion over life and death: save us, as thou art the lover of mankind." (Friday in the First Week - At the Sixth Hour, the Troparion of the Prophecy, 5th Tone)

Do you wonder how you are ever going to get better? Do you ever have doubts because you tend to fall into the same foolish sins day after day? Do you wonder if you ever REALLY repent?

If you have these feelings, then you are thinking correctly, but without sure knowledge that the Lord will save those whom He loves and that the resurrection will make you capable of total change, you will fall into despair.

Let's face it, we are bad. We are lazy, and forgetful, and insincere. We mean something one minute, and contradict ourselves by our actions the next.

What is the only solution for us? The abyss of God's mercy. Remember, mercy is not only that God will not punish us, if we repent. If this was all, we would all fall into the pit, since we are not truly repentant. God's mercy will help us to repent. This change does not occur right away, but only with arduous labor, coupled with God's grace.

Let us fall before the abyss of God's mercy and beg him to "forestall" our unrepentant heart, that is, to help us change it to a repentant one, and to gain peace and knowledge, and wisdom and purity. This is our only chance, and we must be confident of this very thing, that He Who has begun a good work in us, will complete it.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas