Collectively ascending Golgotha together
The difficult time all of humanity is experiencing, is painful. However, it is perhaps all the more painful for we Orthodox Christians, because we are being deprived of the Eucharist. Most of the pious believers of the Orthodox world can not participate in the Divine Liturgy, as well as the many other services we traditionally attend during Great and Holy Lent, because civil authorities around the world have imposed drastic limitations on the numbers of people who can assemble together in one place.
The pain that most of us are experiencing as we are collectively being distanced from the services, as well as from one another, seems unbearable. Most of the Orthodox world is witnessing the forced closure of our churches to the faithful, an action that has rarely been experienced in the history of the Church. That the Body of Christ has taken on Herself the accountability to NOT commune the faithful, therefore depriving us of the reception of the Holy Mysteries, seems unbearable to most of us.
Yet it is during such a time that we must remember that “the Kingdom of God is within us”. Therefore we must turn to our little “domestic churches,” and use this time of separation from one another as a time to increase our personal struggle. God will hear our collective prayers, even if said at a distance from one another. His Divine Grace sustains us, not only when we worship collectively as the Body of Christ, but even when we are alone in our desert.
This time of separation from one another, and even from the corporate worship of the Church, has been permitted by God so that we all collectively ascend Golgotha together as believers who are gazing toward the cross of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus, even though we find ourselves closed off to the corporate worship that we are accustomed to, we will all arrive together, even if alone in our own desert, to the much anticipated Resurrection of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
With love in Christ,
On behalf of the Monastic Brotherhood I wish to thank all of you who have donated toward the support of the monastery. During such times of hardship, your kindness is all the more appreciated. May the Lord reward you for your generosity.
Sixth Week of the Great Lent. Tone one.
Great Lent. Food with Oil
Forefeast of the Annunciation.
Venerable Zacharias the Recluse of Egypt (4th c.).
St. Artemon, bishop of Seleucia (1st c.).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1920).
Venerable Zachariah, faster of the Kiev Caves (13th c.).
Martyrs Stephen and Peter of Kazan (1552).
Venerable James the Confessor, bishop of Catania (802-811).
“The Clouded Mount” Icon of the Mother of God.
Hieromartyr Parthenius, patriarch of Constantinople (1657).
St. Savvas the New of Kalymnos (1948) (Greek).
Eight Martyrs of Caesarea in Palestine (Greek).
Venerable Martin of Thebes, monk (Greek).
St. Thomas, abbot of the monastery of St. Euthymius (542).
St. Severus of Catania (802-811).
St. Artemius, bishop of Thessalonica.
St. Dunchad, abbot of Iona.