Where Do You Want to
Spend Your Eternity? Holy Great Lent Apostolic Encyclical 2014 by HH Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East
The Holy Gospel unveils what will happen in the heavens on the terrible Day of
Judgment, when time comes and the general resurrection becomes real.
Divine revelation draws a clear image where we see the righteous
judge surrounded by all the peoples of the world separated into two
categories, the category of the righteous who have stood to the
right of the judge, and the category of the evil ones who have stood
to his left. ...
Apostolic Holy Lent Encyclical 2013: Charity
by HH Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East
The central component of our words here is charity. Charity with our neighbor is
commended by natural law and recommended by divine law as well; people are all
children of Adam and Eve, brothers sharing the goods of this earth. They have to
love each others. After receiving the sufficient needs from their wealth, the
rich shall fill the needs of the poor with their abundant goods; this is what
natural law dictates. ...
Message of Pope Francis
For Lent 2015
Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every
believer. Above all it is a "time of grace" (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us
anything that he himself has not first given us. "We love because he first has
loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place
in his heart. ...
Is A Time to Return to Our Lord With All Our Heart
Ashes are sprinkled on our heads, but Lent is lived in the heart.
God wants pierced hearts. God looks for the broken heart. "Even
now," says the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with
fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and
not your garments" (Joel 2:12-13). Paradoxically, in order to give
God one's whole heart, it must first be pierced and broken. This is
what we mean when we speak of compunction and contrition....
You are Going to Die - An
After Ash Wednesday Reflection
REMEMBER … you are dust; you are going to die. Get ready. Now is the
time; be earnest about it. Be thoughtful; reflect, considering carefully what
your decisions amount to, where you are headed, and what your life means. Too
many people live unreflected lives, never thinking much on these things. ...
Pierce Thou My
Heart, Love Crucified by Fr. Mark
This excellent article by Fr. Mark
dwells on the meaning of lent. He explains the various facets of the
lent - fasting, meditation, scripture reading and reflection,
The Key to True Fasting
If you want to have the capacity to fast spiritually and truly you
have to experience the wedding feast of the Lamb of God. In this great wedding
feast, which we are to experience through prayer, scripture and especially the
Liturgy, we are to be filled with Christ. We are to encounter him and feast
abundantly on his Word, his Body and Blood and to rejoice with him exceedingly.
And when this happens we are authentically equipped to fast. ...
Deprive Yourself of Love! Lenten Thoughts by Fr. Jerry Kurian
To love means to sacrifice and let go of many things which we
consider valuable to us. But love also means doing something good
for the sake of others. There are a lot of people who ask whether it
is imperative that we have diet restrictions during lent and whether
we need to fast during lent? ...
Thoughts For The
Lenten Season Deepam Bible Study by EVP
Women in the Bible - in Malayalam (pdf)
A message for the Great
Lent by His Eminence Issac Mor Osthatheos Metropolitan
Lent as a
Way of Healing Ourselves of Prejudices and Wrong Notions by Fr.
Lent is a time to understand the presence of God inside us.
God's love for us is unconditional and not based on the fulfilling of certain
parameters. Let this lent be a time of
realization and not self actualization and self praise. Let it rather be a
celebration of life where those around us will be blessed and happy by our
presence and intervention. ...
The Great Lent in
the View of Bar Ebroyo by Fr. Dr. Biji Chirathilattu
The famous thirteenth century Syrian Orthodox Maphrian Yuhanon Gregorios Aboul
Faraj Bar Ebroyo, who dominates the Syrian Orthodox Church History and who
is rightly called the Thomas of Aquinas of the Syrian Orthodox Christianity,
was the last Syrian Father to do an extensive codification of the different
patristic directions towards the spiritual exercises in his Church. ...
Lent - A Time
for Repentance and Forgiveness by Rev. J. Curtis Goforth
Sin is one of those things that we do not like to exhibit. Sin is
something that modern people think is a private matter - something
just between me and God. However, in the Church, sin is something
that is very public and private. ...
Great Lent Bible Planner based
on the Gospel of John (2014)
by George Aramath, Dallas, TX
If you are interested in making this Great Lent more meaningful,
please take part in the Great Lent Planner. Each day you will read a
portion from John’s Gospel, taking only 10-15 minutes...
Great Lent Bible Planner by George Aramath (2013)
Walking with God -
Apostolic Bull on the Great Lent from Holy Father (2012)
The fact that Enoch was taken alive to
the heavens in soul and body is a solid proof that confirms the
doctrines of the immortality of the human being and that of eternal
life. It is also a calling for man to walk with God in order to win
Life in Christ
- Message of Great Lent from Holy Father (2011)
for Great Lent -2011
The holy gospel is a reliable record of the teachings of our Lord
Jesus Christ in words and deeds during His divine economy in the
flesh. It does not impose on us orders. It does not give us
commandments to blindly hold to. It does not list prohibitions.
Rather, it presents to us Jesus Christ as a living paradigm to
longue for and a model to pursue carrying His cross. We shall follow
Him so that we obtain eternal life through Him.
Lenten Reflection for
Lent is a time of self discipline. A faithful person may look to the
end of his travails, as an athlete, and visualize the prize before
him. How wonderful the rewards of God! Though we may face
tribulation, like a good Father God knows how to reward His
Mid Lent and
Erection of Golgotha
The Golgotha and erection of cross in the of the church also
signifies that God came down from heaven and dwelt among us in this
world. This is why the Golgotha is in the middle of the church with
us, the common folks, and not in the Madbaha as we normally expect
to find it.
Mid-Lent and the Holy
On the 25th day of the great Lent of 50 days we place
the Holy Cross, which we revere as Golgotha in the exact
center of the Church. By this act we commemorate the
placement of the brazen serpent in the exact center of
the tents of Israelites...
Pathi Nombu (Mid Lent)
The 25th day of the lent which is always a Wednesday is
known as mid lent. This is one of the very few days
during the great lent when the Holy Qurbana is
celebrated on a weekday other than Sunday or Saturday.
Lent is a wonderful time to celebrate the reconciling love and the healing
graces our Lord offers us. Like all religious experience, it takes preparation.
Preparing for The Sacrament of Reconciliation
Celebrating and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be
among the most blessed of human experiences. Yet, there are a number
of reasons why we don't take advantage of this Sacrament or we don't
celebrate it well. Fear, shame, bad experiences of the past, a long
time since the last reception of the Sacrament or bad habits in
celebrating it now are all possible reasons for struggles with this
Invitation To Us
Lent is a season of being invited by God in a deeply personal way. "Come back to
me, with all of your heart," our Lord beckons. "We will," we respond, but we
aren’t quite ready yet, our hearts are not prepared. We want to squirm, evade,
avoid. Our souls not yet perfect. We are not ready for God to love us..
Great Lent - Deepam Bible Study
A great meditation in Malayalam.
God Alone Satisfies
The voice of God came through the figure of the Crucified Christ, saying to
St. Thomas Aquinas:
"You have written well of me, Thomas. What would you have?" St. Thomas Aquinas could choose whatever he wanted, whatever he desired. Would he ask
for wealth or fame or power? Would he ask for love or athletic skill or simple
pleasures? He could ask for anything; what would he ask of the Lord? He answered the Savior with these words: "Nil nisi te, Domine, nil nisi te." Only
you, Lord, only you. ....
by HH Moran Mor Ignatius
Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Universal Syrian Orthodox
Church and All The East
Fasting is a voluntary act of abandoning worldly life. It is a sign of man’s
obedience to, and respect of God’s laws and his observance of God’s offices by
his voluntary abstinence from food or drink for a specific period of time.
Outline of Great Lent
(According to Malankara Syriac Orthodox Tradition) by
Great Lent in the Syriac Orthodox Church starts with evening prayer on the 1st
Sunday (Wedding of Cana) and concludes with the Holy Kurbana/Mass on 8th Sunday
Lent? What's the purpose? How do I take part? by George
Is it possible to observe the Great Fast/Lent in our current culture? What's the
point of it anyway? It seems like an ancient practice irrelevant today.
Lent for Dummies by
Christopher S. Wendell
Our scripture lesson gives us clues about what might be good things to be doing
during lent. Jesus suggests generosity (giving alms), prayer, and
self-denial (fasting). Jesus doesn't tell us what to do or even why but simply
how – how to give alms, how to pray, and how to fast. In this way we avoid the
motivation of the hypocrite and discover the deeper meaning of these spiritual
about Lent for Busy People by E.F. Pemberton
Do not let us forget the real object of our fast. We
deny ourselves to subdue our bodies, so that our
spiritual life may increase. We fast that we may be
stronger to fight against our besetting sin, our bad
habits, and faults. If you do not know, find out at once
what is your besetting sin, i.e., the sin you most
frequently commit; fight hard against it, and pray for
the opposite virtue every day.
Reflections: LENT as FEAST and FAST
Lent is more than just a giving up.
It is giving… developing a greater love towards God,
self and others.
LENT can be a FEAST AND A FAST.
The Mystery of Lent
by Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.
A season so sacred as this of Lent is rich in mysteries.
The Church has made it a time of recollection and
penance, in preparation for the greatest of all her
feasts; she would, therefore, bring into it everything
that could excite the faith of her children, and
encourage them to go through the arduous work of
atonement for their sins. ...
Lent by Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.
Penance consists in contrition of the soul, and
mortification of the body; these two parts are essential
to it. The soul has willed the sin; the body has
frequently co-operated in its commission. Moreover, man
is composed of both soul and body; both, then, should
pay homage to their Creator.
Some Hints for Lent by
the Rt. Rev. A.C.A. Hall
The chief duties of Lent are Retirement, Prayer,
Fasting, Repentance, and Almsgiving.
Great Fast (50-day Fast)
by Rev. Fr. Johnson Punchakonam
During the Weeks of Great Fast (Valiya Nompu), Mar Thoma Nazranis (St.
Thomas Christians of India) meditate on the Passion and Death of
'Iso-Msiha'. The fasting starts immediately after the Petratha Sunday.
A Pastoral Letter from the Bishop of Bath and Wells to
his Clergy concerning their Behavior during Lent. By
Thomas Ken, D.D. London, 1688
Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s Well - A Lenten Reflection
A Lenten reflection based on St. John 4: 6
Are You Condemned?
My religion is Christianity. There are a set of
practices that are associated with the Christian
religion, but I think my Christian belief encompasses
much more than a set of practices or rules of behavior.
The Lent is meant to cleanse the whole being, both the
inner and chemical by being with God. How to clean the
physical man? The abstinence from food for hours and
days allow the body to consume all the toxins
accumulated by our day to day inherent infirmities.
Significance of Fasting in the Struggle against Fallen
Fasting is acceptable to God when it is preceded by the great virtue of mercy;
fasting prepares a reward in heaven when it is foreign to hypocrisy and
vainglory; fasting works when it is joined with another great virtue – prayer.
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving
Lenten conversion is not a superficial renewal. What the
Lord wants is not just the change of bad habits and
worldly vices; He wants a clean soul and no
half-measures will do.
Fasting Enlightens the Soul
Fasting helps to have serenity of the soul because the
one, who hungers in his stomach, enlightens his
intellect. Therefore, the hunger is a key, which opens
the door of wisdom.
The General Canons of Fasting
Bar Ebroyo depends upon the decision of the Synod of Laodicea and Patriarch Timotheos
and Patriarch John III of Antioch to describe the dos
and don'ts in the great lent.
'Namaskaram' means PRAYING ON KNEES. While praying, we kneel or bend down
before Almighty God. The whole participation of human mind, soul and body in
prayer /worship is the peculiarity of orthodox worship.
Daily Time Alone with God
For many people this time of year brings more activities and personal obligations.
occurs, a person's devotional times get squeezed out of their daily schedule,
and soon their relationship with the Lord becomes distant. Having a daily Time
Alone with God is vital to keeping a strong, vibrant, relationship with the
The Beauty of Humility
In a human being, there is nothing more beautiful, more
attractive than humility.
Here is a helpful examination of conscience, based on the Ten Commandments.
Perform a brief examination every night, but go through a more thorough
examination before confessing your sins to the priest.
Preparing for Confession -
In Orthodox Church, the confession guides are typically centered around the 10
Commandments and The Beatitudes. Here is an excerpt from the Greek Orthodox
Church Guide to Preparing for Confession. Similar confessionals are used in
other Orthodox Churches.
Preparing for Confession - Guide
Here is a document prepared by a Catholic Lay member about preparing for the
Confession. It is an
excellent article to prepare for a Lifetime Confession and as a guide for
the Examination of Conscience.
Am I ready to
see the glory of God?
Following is an analysis of my Lenten experience based on the Gospel readings of
the last six Sundays as the guidelines to figure out whether I am ready to see
the glory of God.
Great Lent - A Time for Spiritual Renewal in Jesus
The Church gives us Great Lent to be renewed, to escape
the dreariness and weariness of life, and enter into the
bright joy of life in Jesus Christ.
Great Lent: A Season of Renewal for All
Prophet Isaiah was emphatic in arguing that lent and fasting are not just pious
"obligatory Observances" for the people of God, but a tremendous transforming
force. Being mortal and feeble, humans need periodic renewal of body,
mind and soul. How is this possible?
The Number and Days of
Fasts - Part 1
There are a number of fasts in the Syrian Orthodox Church and often
many questions are asked from the part of the believers as to the
dos and don'ts in the fasts, the beginning, duration, and ending of
the fasts etc.
The Number and Days of
Fasts - Part 2
Other than the fasts on Wednesdays and Fridays, there are five more
Fasts in a year. The great lent begins on the Monday coming closer,
before or after the full moon between second February and eighth
Benefits of Fasting
In accordance with the fact that Bar Ebroyo himself was a doctor, he
underlines through a quotation from the doctors of his time that
fasting improves the health of the body.
The Efficacy of Fasting and
the Different Categories of Fasting.
According to Bar Ebroyo, the fasting may be defined in terms of time, of the
kind of food or in terms of both time and food, and they are the
three different categories of fasting.
Shut Noah and Family in before the Flooding began
Since Noah walked with God during his life before the Great Flood,
he certainly knew about this key point which made him leave God's
job for God. There, we see an equilibrium between God's will and
Noah's obedience or submission.
Some Thoughts On The Holy Lent In Relation To The Nature
Each rubric of the liturgy is meticulously designed in such a manner
as to go in tune with the episodes of the incarnation of Christ and
in tandem with the tempo of the Nature where we live. It is
surprising that liturgical seasons of the church happen more or less
in the same timing as that of the natural seasons.
The essence of Lent:
Learning and struggling to bend our knees, mend our hearts, and lend
The prayers during lent remind us that there is no use of observing
lent if we do not change inside. No amount of abstinence from food
and other things will help us in any way if we do not bring about a
renewal inside us.
Great Lent in Syriac
Orthodox Church of Antioch
During the period of the Great Lent and other periods of fasting
throughout the year, an individual makes a special attempt or
connection to reach our God, and evaluate his calling as a
Christian, to listen to the voice of the Gospels and heed its
- An Explanation for Children
Fasting, prayer, confession, reconciliation, Holy Communion, charity and capping
with love are the steps to reach and experience the resurrected Jesus in person.
Lessons from Zacchaeus - Importance of Lent
During this Great Lent, Jesus is asking us to learn from Zacchaeus
to realize our weaknesses and find remedies to them as he did.
We must realize our shortness in spiritual life, the falls we had in the past and
the sins we committed which together made us unable to see Christ directly.
Friday of Great Lent and Annunciation to St. Mary Devotional
Humility is what we need to become faithful Christians. If we
carefully examine ourselves we may observe that almost always we are
trying to justify, defend, exalt or praise ourselves in our
interactions with others and sometimes even before God, knowingly or
unknowingly. This focus on self - our ego - can often keep us from
hearing God's voice and prevent us from being faithful in our walk
during Great Lent for Orthodox Christians
We Orthodox Christians, in obedience to the words of our Divine
Savior, and in imitation of the saints, set aside a period of
intense fasting and prayer in order to purify our spiritual senses
so we may see the Holy Resurrection.
When we have gone through the labor of
fasting, we forfeit not the crown of fasting, we should understand
how, and after what manner, it is necessary to conduct this
business; since that Pharisee also fasted, but afterwards went down
empty, and destitute of the fruit of fasting.
The Spirituality of
There are two different ways of looking at this fast because there are two
different versions of these forty days, or forty segments of time, in the
Scriptures. One is the blessing of the revelation of what it is that we need to
do in service to God and to humanity. And the other is of the purification that
needs to happen for God to set things straight in us and around us.
We Syriac Christians observe 50 days lent in preparation for the celebration of
the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday.
Encyclical of the Holy Great Lent 2010
The time for the Forty Days Holy Great Lent has arrived. It is a
golden opportunity offered by our mother holy church to examine
ourselves, to refrain from vices, uphold virtues, and return to God
with repentance. Like the eagle training his young ones to soar high
in the air, so does the holy church is training the faithful to soar
in spiritual heights, giving them the graceful means to be liberated
from earthly gravity that attracts them.
Study: Monthly fasting may
A study in Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints is based, found that people who skipped meals once a month
were about 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with clogged
arteries than those who did not regularly fast.
Fasts and Feasts in Mar
Thoma Church: Fire for the Journey of Faith
There are a growing body of data from the causal conversations with
members of the church indicate that approximately more than fifty
percentage of members are not confident on the place of 'fast and
feasts' in the liturgical life of the church.
Holy Lent (Episcopal Church) by Rev. Frank Logue
A Brief Introduction to Lent for Folks Who Are New to Liturgical
Fasting is a
Great Weapon for Christians
A Lenten 'Weight
Loss' Program by Gary Zimak
Let’s face it, we are all weighed down to some extent by selfishness and
assorted vices. Given a choice, very few of us will choose suffering over
comfort. The Church gives us the season of Lent to examine our souls and
remove the extra "weight" that keeps us apart from the Lord. Here are five
simple steps that you can use during Lent to identify and eliminate some of this
excess "poundage" from your life.
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