Friday, July 30, 2010

A Spiritual Wake-Up Call

Dear Parish Faithful,

On Sunday, August 1, the two-week Dormition Fast in honor of the Theotokos and her "paschal" falling asleep in the Lord will begin. This fast is always prescribed for August 1-14. Situated in the dog days of summer, it is a wonderful "wake-up call" to the spiritual vigilance that we actually need on a daily basis. Spiritual torpor/listlessness, a translation of a technical term from our spiritual vocabulary - akedia - can reduce us to "going through the motions" with no real zeal and effort behind the practices of our life in the Church. A fast is always God's way of calling us back to the "mind of the Church," that protects us from over-exposure to the "mind of the world" (which is quite indifferent - if not hostile - to God and the soul). In fact, the degree of reluctance that one may exhibit in "getting into" the spirit and practice of the Dormition Fast may just be the best indicator possible for how deeply one has succumbed to the spirit of the world. If you are caught off guard, then you are losing the "battle of the calendars."

If the Church can be likened to a spiritual hospital, in which the Divine Physician of our souls and bodies - Christ - works to heal our spiritual illnesses; then the Dormition Fast is the perfect "medicine" to assist in that process. So, perhaps we can collectively exclaim "thank God!" for another opportunity to work together with God and honor the Theotokos in an over-all effort to renew our lives in the Church.

Fr. Steven

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