At the Doors of Holy Lent

We stand with awe at the doors of the fearsome Great Lent. It is fearsome, not because it imposes on us superhuman exercises, but because of the awesome things the grace of this period performs in the heart of the faithful. In the bosom of the Church, the atmosphere is stirred up spiritually, and the grace that permeates it is so tangible and abundant that it would be terrifying to lose it.


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Our Holy Fathers awaited Great Lent with enthusiasm, saying that if we go through this period with fasting and repentance, it is as if we give a tithe for our life. The Israelites of Old dedicated one tenth of their harvest to God. Christians dedicate one tenth of their transitory life to a more intense struggle to draw night to God; and, when this offering is made with humility, the Lord receives it as an acceptable sacrifice. He then blesses not only the remainder of this earthly life, but furthermore, He preserves these days in eternity.


Introductory note

‘Behold, O Lord, I come before Thee’

The Sunday of the Ten Lepers
Multiplying the Gifts of God through Thanksgiving

The Sunday of the Blind Man of Jericho
Thirst for the True Light

The Sunday of Zacchaeus
Bearing Shame for Our Sin as Thanksgiving to God

The Sunday of the Talents
Honouring the Gifts of God

The Sunday of the Canaanite Woman
The Merciful Chastening of Christ

Utterly humbled by our spiritual poverty, we come to ourselves in order to ascend to God

The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
The Genuine Power and Truth of Humility

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son
The Ineffable Goodness of the Father
Return to the House of the Father
The Theology of the Body

The Sunday of the Last Judgment
The Judgment of Love
The Surprise of Joy and the Dismay of Just Recompense

The Sunday of Forgiveness
The Freedom of Forgiveness
The Enlargement of Forgiveness

‘Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer’ (Rom. 12:11-12)

From the Reproachable Passions to the Godly Passion of Divine Love
‘And the Violent Take It by Force’
Knowing Christ and Him Crucified
‘I Was Dead and, Behold, I Am Alive for Evermore’
The Prayer of Saint Ephraim

Biblical Index

Father Zacharias studied theology at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Saint Sergius in Paris and at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has lived all his monastic life in the monastery of Saint John the Baptist in Essex where he serves as a spiritual Father and minister of the word of God to his brethren and the people that come to him.

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At the Doors of Holy Lent
At the Doors of Holy Lent
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