Dear Parish Faithful,
I just noticed on our parish website, that our webservant has posted a link to the classic essay by Archbishop Kallistos Ware, entitled, "The Meaning of the Great Fast: The True Nature of Fasting." This is an incredibly rich essay (if you recall, I sent out a summary of it last week as prepared by Sister Vicki), and should be on the 'must read" list of all serious Orthodox Christians. As I suggested on Sunday, printing it out and then reading it slowly will most probably be a much more effective way of approaching this essay, and absorbing and retaining its many insights. Here is a remarkable piece of theological/spiritual writing - with many practical points - that should not be neglected. If you are searching for some good lenten reading - here it is!
I was asked at the post-Liturgy discussion on Sunday recommend some other reading for Great Lent. There are three other "classics" that readily come to mind:
GREAT LENT by Fr. Alexander Schmemann (described by Arch. Kallistos as the best introduction to Lent in English).
Order # GREA220 $15.00
THE LENTEN SPRING by Fr. Thomas Hopko (forty three-pages essays that cover many aspects of Great Lent).
Order # LENT130 $16.00
THE PASSION OF CHRIST by Veselin Kesich (excellent introduction concerning the events leading up to Holy Week and the Cross).
Order #PASS125 $12.00
If you have not read these books, I would also place them on your "must read" list.
Other excellent books include:
FIRST FRUITS OF PRAYER: A Forty-Day Journey Through the Canon of St. Andrew by Frederica Mathewes-Green.
Order #FIRS115 $14.95
GREAT WEEK AND PASCHA IN THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH (An excellent study of the order and theological meaning of the various services of Holy Week, including all of the traditional practices that characterize the week. Extremely inspiring).
Order #GREA300 $12.00
ORTHODOX LENT, HOLY WEEK AND EASTER by Hugh Wybrew (A non-Orthodox writer's very sympathetic look at the Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha).
Order# OZLE550 $12.00
The links, order numbers and prices are taken from the Light-n-Life Publishing Co. (952-925-3888). They are very prompt with deliveries. Great Lent just began, so there is plenty of time to supplement our prayer, fasting and almsgiving with some good insightful reading!