2016 Archpastoral Message
April 2016 Pastoral Message
We find ourselves in the heart of Great Lent in which meaningful
services are offered to assist us in cultivating a prayerful and fertile
heart whose soul can receive and benefit from the saving work our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ has done for us.
I invite you to join us throughout the weeks for the many Lenten
services. The Compline
service is penitential; the Wednesday Pre-Sanctified Liturgies provide
the medicine of immortality,
as St. Ignatius called it, which strengthens us during the week; and the
Sunday Liturgies which hold our hand as we navigate the weeks of Lent.
This Lent and fast is a journey, my friends. Individually,
it will have peaks and valleys, spiritual highs and lows, yet, it is
important we remain on the journey.
Toward the end of this journey, we will approach Holy Week, our Lord's
Passion and Resurrection, with renewed faith, stronger discipline in our
Christian values and moral compass, a greater love for our Lord's
sacrifice on the Cross and the passage way He opened to us through His
To get there my friends, we are encouraged to abstain from certain
items: foods, myriads of meetings and social engagements. To abstain
from these things is not enough, however. What is most important is that
we replace them with additional prayer, that we increase our giving to
the needy and our visiting with those who are alone. We must strive to
control what comes out of our mouths as we fast and be conscious of what
goes into them; put aside time each day to read sacred books beginning
with the Holy Bible and other books available in our bookstore.
Finally, afford ourselves of the opportunities to attend the
sacred services I mentioned.
We have also been introduced to the meaningful Lenten Prayer of St.
Ephraim which serves as a checklist on our spiritual journey. You will
find it on the adjacent page for your convenience.
I encourage you to pray it every evening and throughout the day.
Make it a regular part of your spiritual walk, not just during
Great Lent, but throughout the year.
With brotherly love and pastoral blessings, I remain your fellow
Rev. Father Christ Kontos, Protopresbyter
Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim
Master of my life, cast away from me the spirit of laziness, idle
curiosity, love of power and vain talk.
But grant me,
Your servant, the spirit of moderation, humility, patience and love.
Yes, Lord and
King, grant me to see my own faults and not judge my brothers and
For You are
blessed forever. Amen.