Dear Parish Faithful,
Here is an excerpt from an article entitled "The Great Fast of 2015" from the newsletter The Talanton of the St. Gregory Palamas Monastery here in Ohio.
The article concentrates on the practice of prayer during Great Lent; possibly its restoration when we allow prayer to "fall by the wayside" during the course of the year.
Prayer is a lifeline to God. There are the lifelines that we know are used for those who sail the seas and there are the lifelines of the
land locked. I am told that in the olden days of the northern Unites States, winter was a time when the snows were so high that you
could not see where you are going. There was a rope that was secured at the house and a visitor to the privy took one end with him
so that on returning to the house a clear and direct path could be made by the person who had ventured out of the house in a blizzard.
This rope was a straight line to the house.
For the Christian, prayer is that lifeline. It is the activity most appropriate and natural to us because we were made with a certain
openness and inclination to communicate with and to know our Creator. Prayer is a natural activity; it is analogous to breathing
oxygen; it is analogous to drinking fresh water, or eating of the fruits of paradise. Prayer is the spiritual breath of life, the spiritual
food and drink that keeps us alive and keeps our feet firmly on the path that leads to the Kingdom.
Without prayer an Orthodox Christian suffocates, is disoriented and emaciated by the cares and changes of this life. Prayer keeps us
in contact with a reality which is the reason for life itself. Communion with God is the goal and the reason for our existence.
The Talanton, February 2015, p.3.