Clean Monday: An Anthem for Great Lent and all of Life
The First Week of Great Lent - Clean Monday
An Anthem for Great Lent and all of Life.
Wash yourselves, and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17. learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. 18. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: and though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they red like crimson, I will make them white as wool. 19. If then ye be willing, and obedient unto Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; 20. but if ye desire not, nor will obey me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. (Is 1:1-20, First Monday of Great Lent, the Sixth Hour)
Everyone needs to frequently wash. The accumulated grime of the day is unsightly and unpleasant and unhealthy. If we wash carefully, and ignore no dirty place, then we will be invigorated, and healthy, but if we ignore some place for a long time, that place will fester and cause us to be ill.
Great Lent is especially a time for careful washing. We must be careful to ignore no place in us that is dirty, so we can be truly clean. In us there may be wicked ways: thoughts, feelings, priorities and habits that are not immediately apparent, and are all displeasing to God.
This time is a time to consciously attempt to put away wicked ways from ourselves just as we put away from ourselves certain foods. How to do this? By listening and seeking, and diligence and proper priorities, and actions accomplished with a merciful heart, that is, to "learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow".
Why should we make all this effort? Because some stains are so dark and embedded that we cannot of our own effort wash them out, and their ugliness and stench will always be with us, but if the Lord sees our resolve and or effort, He will wash us so that the scarlet and crimson of our sins, and even of our sinful nature and predilections will be annihilated and forgotten, and will not return to infect us again.
And those who struggle, with an honest and good heart, will inherit the good of the land, and know the Lord.