|The Mystical Supper|
For those of us who are Orthodox Christians, today is the first day of Lent. So, I would like to wish you "Good Strength!" (Kali Dynami!)
Strength for what? Lent is a time to focus on our Spiritual "workout" so to speak. A time to focus on Communion with God. I read a lot of different blogs, and when I read those written by those with physical fitness as a profession or a hobby, I notice that there is no limit to the amount of dedication and commitment that those who are into physical fitness are willing to dedicate to the physical results they wish to achieve. Lent is a time for those of us who are Christians to attempt to have a similar dedication to our Spiritual fitness.
As the Bible says in I Timothy 4:8:
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Getting into good shape Physically only benefits us during the years we are on this earth - less than 100 years for most of us. No matter how well we eat, or how diligently we exercise, most of us can't get the benefits of such things to last us more than a century. But getting into good shape Spiritually benefits us both in this age and in the Age to Come - for all Eternity!
Of course, it is one of God's many Blessings that the foods the Church recommends for our Spiritual Growth during Lent and many other times of the year (a Plant Based, mostly Vegan Diet with little or no oil), is the same diet that is the best for our Physical health! God sees us as Complete Persons - not a Physical bit there and a Spiritual bit there. He wants the best for us - all the way around : )
It really is of GREAT value to focus on our Spiritual health during this season. We focus on Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving during this time to aid us in our Spiritual Journey.
Here are a few ideas you might like:
- Attend some of the extra services at Church, such as PreSanctified Liturgies on Wednesday night, or Akathist Hymn on Friday night. If your Church has a Lenten Potluck, here are some ideas for dishes you might take to share.
- Do some batch Lenten cooking now. I have heard so many people say that they regretted focusing too much on recipes and food preparation during Lent, when they wish they had focused on more on Prayer & Worship. Filling your freezer early in Lent allows you to focus on Church on those evenings when there are services, instead of stressing over food. And, it also allows you to think about something besides what's for dinner tonight while you're at Church. Here are some Lenten Batch Cooking Plans:
Indian for a Week
World Tour One
World Tour Two
- Subscribe to some helpful reading to be delivered to your computer. Two of my favorites are Daily Readings and Lives of the Saints and The Morning Offering. I find it much easier to remember to do reading that is delivered to my RSS feed or email.
- Consider what type of Almsgiving might suit you best. Some families like to keep a little box at the dinner table so that the Children (and Adults!) can have the experience of actually giving something each mealtime, rather than having the head of household write out a check that the rest of the family barely knows about. Some families tie it in some way to the sacrifices they make during Lent ("We at Peanut Butter & Jelly instead of Hamburgers- that saved us 50cents per person - so we'll give $2 to the poor this meal from the four of us.") But, what fits each family best varies a lot - so it's just something to think about. Here is a nice meditation on Almsgiving.
This is being shared on Simple Living Wednesday and We Are that Family
What are You Doing This Lenten Season