Sermon by Hieromonk Mefody (Yogel) on the Beginning of Dormition Lent
By God’s mercy, brethren, we begin Dormition Lent.
Lent for a Christian who has received its true significance is a time of purification, tied to the voluntary limitation of the demands of one’s physical nature and the renewal of one’s conscience through the Holy Mysteries of Repentance and Communion.
Alas, such an attitude towards lent is rare today, even those who consider themselves part of the Church.
A negligent attitude towards lent is a heavy burden on one’s conscience, not only because it represents disobedience to the Church, but because he who does not observe lent sins against himself, for he neglects his own spiritual state.
Man is the gardener of his own soul, but his soul is a wild, uncultivated garden. The aim of life is to expend energy of the soul on this imperfect and often sin-filled nature, and to the extent possible, make it perfect.
In facing this challenge, one of the most powerful tools is true Christian fasting. It sets limits to the demands of our fussy and fickle human body. It cultivates self-discipline. It makes a person not a slave but the master of his passions. It is as vital for a Christian as physical exercise is to a soldier or an athlete.
The Holy Church once again urges us, with motherly love, to work upon ourselves. Let us open our hearts to Her call.
Stepping back to look at our lives, let us imagine how many Lenten periods we have wasted, and let us try, while we still have time, to correct our sin before the Church and before ourselves.