All Sinners

Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of
sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou,
unto ages of ages. Amen.

~ St. Ephraim’s Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

To my Eastern Orthodox friends welcome to Great Lent. Today is day two of your total fast of your three day fast before you begin the general rules of fasting which is no meat, animal products, fish, olive oil and wine. May you find your fasting bring enlightenment and a closeness to God through his son’s sacrifice for us. I admit this pre-lent and Lent has been hard. Being a type one diabetic has resulted in me having to eat something so I have found peanuts to be really successful. I have been successful so far in my no meat Lent fasting this year. Even during my fasting, I find myself praying more. I have to admit fasting this year was like running into a brick wall at a high rate of speed.

I have to admit when I was looking for a prayer to pray St. Ephraim’s prayer seemed to fit my situation. I have to wonder though that if God gives us the first set of experiences to draw us closer to him but we fail to recognize it until the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk burn us back to God. It would seem to be that although we have free will that the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk are the walls of the gates and it is through Christ’s chastity, humility, patience and love that we are able to reside within the gates of Christianity protecting us from the spirit that we desire be taken away from us. St. Ephraim calls for us to ask for the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love so that we may see our transgressions that we commit on one another and seek penance for it. Because we are all sinners and we should seek for God to have mercy on us yet often times I get discouraged but we when we ask for forgiveness and awake the next day it is time to renew ourselves and bring ourselves closer to Christ.

While I embark on new paths such as my Pastoral Education classes, I have found through this Lenten season that it is too much for me to do at this time. My focus needs to be on my calling as a wife. My wifely duties have fallen short at my husband’s expense. It has forced us to spend more money and taken a toll on our health and therefore I must forgo my wants to ensure I have more time to cook and take care of the house. So I will be giving up my educational pursuits to be a better wife, because the bible calls me to be.  In a society that preaches equal rights and acknowledgement for women, I find that if we follow the bible’s teaching on what makes a good wife we might find ourselves happier than we do now. Submitting is never easy and neither is admitting your wrong, but we come from Adam’s rib. We lied and caused the great fall which lead to Christ having to come back and save us from humanities sins. Therefore it is understandable why Lent is harder for Christian women because we must carry the sins and others because of  our gender and seek God’s forgiveness for our transgressions, for our faulty bodies and our ways.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.