THE GREAT FAST begins after Vespers in the evening on Forgiveness Sunday. Until then, we all should take some time for an especially intensive self-examination.
We should ask ourselves:
After serious attention to those questions, we should be able to focus on some clear goals for the period of the Fast in order to experience with greater joy and spiritual benefits the celebration of Holy Pascha and the next period of our life that begins then. I hope we all will conclude that visits to Holy Confession during the pre-Fast period and one or more times during the Fast itself are indicated. Probably we all need to take a more serious attitude towards what we know very well is what is expected of Orthodox Christians. Probably the most common error we make is procrastination -- procrastination that is indefinite and almost final. We like to tell ourselves that we will take this or that step forward "just as soon as I am ready," "just as soon as these other things are in order," and so forth. The advice of the Saints is always "Do it now." The advice of Satan is, "There's no rush: anyhow, you're not ready yet."
[From "Parish Leaflet", a publication of Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles. February 2001 issue.]
Last modified: February 17, 2003 .