Orthodox Thought for the Day


Friday, March 7, 2014

On keeping the Lenten fast

We are told:  It is no big deal to eat non-Lenten food during Lent.  It is no big deal if you wear expensive, beautiful outfits, go to the theatre, to parties, to masquerade balls, use beautiful expensive china, furniture, expensive carriages and dashing steeds, amass and hoard things, etc.  Yet what is it that turns our heart away from God, away from the Fountain of Life?  Because of what do we lose eternal life?  Is it not because of gluttony, of expensive clothing like that of the rich man of the Gospel story, is it not because of theaters and masquerades?   

What turns us hard-hearted toward the poor and even toward our relatives?  Is it not our passion for sweets, for satisfying the belly in general, for clothing, for expensive dishes, furniture, carriages, money and other things?  Is it possible to serve God and mammon, to be a friend to the world and a friend to God, to serve Christ and Belial?  That is impossible.  Why did Adam and Eve lose paradise, why did they fall into sin and death?  Was it not because of one evil?   

Let us attentively consider why we do not care about the salvation of our soul, which cost the Son of God so dearly.  Why do we compound sin upon sin, fall endlessly into opposing to God, into a life of vanity? Is it not because of a passion for earthly pleasures?  What makes our hearts become crude?  Why do we become flesh and not spirit, perverting our moral nature? 

Is it not because of a passion for food, drink, and other earthly comforts?  How after this can one say that it does not matter whether you eat non-Lenten food during Lent?  The fact that we talk this way is in fact pride, idle thought, disobedience, refusal to submit to God, and separation from Him. 

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