Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fourth week of the Great Fast

The Church has strengthened the faithful in the middle of the Fast by presenting the Holy Cross for them to venerate. Now starts the ascent toward Passion Week.

Today, in the middle of the Fast, we worship with faith the Cross that Thou hast endured in the midst of the earth, o Messiah and Word of God, and we pray also to see Thy Resurrection.
First ode of the Canon, Monday of the fourth week of Lent

However, the fast is not over. We still require divine assistance in everything:

The inhabited earth venerates Thy Cross, o Lord, as the life of creation, and it cries to Thee: By the operation of Thy Cross and through abstinence, keep in profound peace those who praise and bless Thee, o most merciful.
Sedalen, Monday of the fourth week of Lent

The main object of the fast - repentance - must remain clear to us:

I am held fast in the bonds of my countless sins, o Christ, and deliberately, I refuse to seek Thy paths which lead me to salvation. Turn me back by Thy Cross and free me from my blindness, in Thine ineffable mercy and compassion.
Ninth ode of the Canon, Monday of the fourth week of Lent

O ye faithful, let us purify our senses with the light of the Fast, and let us be illumined with the spiritual radiance of the Cross. Let us gaze on it with reverence as it lies this day before us, and venerate it with pure lips and mouth and heart.
First ode of the Canon, Tuesday of the fourth week of Lent


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