The arena of the virtues has been opened
- At the Praises of Cheesefare Sunday we chant The arena of the virtues has been opened. The beginning of Great Lent is at hand and we are called to enter this arena, armed with the Grace of God, to struggle against all that separates us from our Lord. We are in the arena and the angels are the spectators that encourage us not to give in to our sinful shortcomings.
Fasting and prayer are essential components of our struggle. They are the two sides of the double edged sword that cuts into our self-will. This sword, however, is a living sword and the strength behind this sword is our sorrow of separation from our Creator.
Cheesefare Sunday is the remembrance of Adam's disobedience, separation from God and his lament. While in Paradise, Adam did not ask the Lord for forgiveness and in this way sealed his separation from the Heavenly Father. The Sunday of Forgiveness is the door through which we must enter the arena. First we must lament over our separation from the Kingdom of Heaven and ask our Lord to open the door so that we may return. Secondly we must ask forgiveness from our brothers and sisters.
These are maneuvers required to receive the reward of our struggle in the arena. May we all have a blessed struggle and receive the Light of our Resurrected Lord.
Please keep me in your prayers and forgive all my offenses.
In Christ,+Fr. Panagiotes
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