The third week of lent is a tough one. I'm still getting used to the new diet. I am realizing that my high ideals of everything I was going to accomplish during Lent was too high. And I see that as we near the midpoint, I still have a long way to go.
It's not too late for me to take a more realistic approach to the three major aspects of lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. But I am finding time to be my biggest struggle right now. The new recipes take more time to prepare and cook as I learn them. I've been "too busy" to attend the extra services. I am also sure I can actually pick up one of my stacked books and make time to read those enlightening books on the lives of the saints. And even if I don't have a dime to spare, there are plenty of people who don't need my money, just my time, some one to visit them and keep them company.
Looks like a key element of lent is time more than anything else.
How do we spend our time.?
On Marsh 29th I am going to be speaking at a retreat at the St. Photios Shrine in St. Augustine, FL about time and ways that we sanctify time, make it holy.
I will first identify the 5 different types of time... Seasonal, Cyclical, Measurable, Relative, and Healing... I even add Greek as a sub category for those who think being late is a virtue.
Then we will go through the twelve major feast days of the church calendar and identify how we can make room in our busy schedules to recognize them and celebrate them. I will give a synopsis of each feast day and we will discuss traditions and menus. For example, Palm Sunday is a day we traditionally eat fish and the Elevation of the Cross is a strict fast day.
Do you know the twelve major feasts? Can you identify the ones that are moveable, associated with Pascha/Easter?
- Nativity of the Theotokos,
- Elevation of the Cross,
- Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple,
- Nativity of Christ,
- Theophany of our Lord,
- Presentation of Our Lord,
- Annunciation of the Theotokos,
- Palm Sunday,
- Transfiguration of Our Lord,
- Dormition of the Theotokos.
Stay strong as you continue on your Lenten journey. If you are hungry, make adjustments and take your vitamins. If you are finding it hard to make time for Lent, look at what you spend your time on. Re-evaluate your priorities. If we don't have time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we have to adjust something.