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    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Here are some thoughts from Matushka Deborah’s Face book page to ponder as we move into Great Lent:

The Saturday evening vigil is a fountain of life for the soul.  “Cast out into the deep,” the Lord said to St. Peter.  The vigil is a casting out into the deep for the soul.  It is a treasure house with untold treasures hidden within.  It is a visit to the Lord’s house, full of many mansions.  All of the things contained therein - the rest for the soul, the sometimes intense spiritual struggle – are there for our salvation.  The Lord has given us this beautiful and deeply profound Divine Service, which is celebrated every Saturday, the eve of the Lord’s day, the day of the celebration of His holy Resurrection.

The quiet light of the candles reminds me that I am lit by God, and one day the candle of my physical body will go out.  How do I want that little candle to burn, and to what purpose?
Friends, it can be a struggle to bring yourself to the door of the church.   Remember who is the foe in this unseen warfare, and that he tries with all of his tricks to keep us away from the vigil. “Get thee behind me, Satan.”  Friends, run to the vigil.  Run.  Run on ahead.

The Lenten Triodion begins with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.  From afar, we see Pascha, the Bright Resurrection of Christ.  In this service, the Lord begins to teach us how to pray.  “Let us all humble ourselves, brethren; groaning and lamenting, let us beat our conscience, that at the eternal judgment we may be numbered with the faithful and the righteous, receiving forgiveness. Let us pray to see the true peace of the Age to Come, where there is no more pain, no sorrow, no groaning from the depths, in the wondrous Eden fashioned by Christ, for He is God coeternal with the Father.” (Ikos, Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee)

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