Monday, March 7, 2011

Great Lent 2011, Week 1, Day 1

From the first Scripture reading of the first day of Lent...

Wash yourselves;
Make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes;
Cease to do evil, learn to do good;
Seek justice, correct oppression;
Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow

Isaiah 1:16-17

If you said to yourself  "Gee I just don't know what to do for Great Lent!"  the Orthodox Church comes out and tells you the very first day from the very first Scripture reading. (Here's Isaiah 1:1-20 if you want to read it in context).  "Cease to do evil, learn to do good". 
 
So since this seems to be the command, I am proposing the following for the 7 weeks leading up to Easter (or Pascha as we call it in Orthodox Christianity).  Each week we should focus on fulfilling a Chief Corporal Work of Mercy.  Here's the list:
  1. To feed the hungry
  2. To give drink to the thirsty
  3. To clothe the naked
  4. To ransom captives
  5. To shelter the homeless
  6. To visit the sick
  7. To bury the dead
For the the first week of Lent the plan will be to deliberately focus on #1, feed the hungry. The goal is that by the end of Lent, all 7 will have been done and a greater awareness has been created to those around us that we don't see because we are too busy with ourselves.  Obviously if it is week 1 and the opportunity to do # 6 arises, then certainly hop to it.  Additionally, repeating a week is greatly encouraged!

Week 1 is easy enough to fulfill...every town has an organization that collect foods.  Take a second to google and find out their greatest needs and do what you can.   Or, look to your own neighborhood.  Do you know a family that is struggling?  There are plenty of people having a rough go of it right now.  Ask your priest or pastor if there is a family in your church that you can anonymously help out with a gift card to a food store.   If there are other less obvious ways that you can think of, drop a comment and let me know.

Now, I'm going to be checking up on you all...I'll publish another post in a few days, probably with a mid-week meditation from someone ΓΌber-holy, so don't think you can get away with doing nothing.  I've got my eye on you!!!

Best wishes for a beautiful, fruitful and blessed Lent.

Trina

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