“It is easy indeed to confess that I have not fasted on prescribed days, or missed my prayers, or become angry. It is quite a different thing, however, to realize suddenly that I have defiled and lost my spiritual beauty, that I am far away from my real home, my real life, and that something precious and pure and beautiful has been hopelessly broken in the very texture of my existence.”
Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent
This is the heart of repentance. This is where God’s grace really performs its work during times like Great Lent. Not only do our attitudes, words and actions bob to the surface of my life, but I actually come to grips with the fact that the very waters of my life are turbid and rancid. As Fr Schmemann puts it, I’ve lost my spiritual beauty and something precious, pure and beautiful has been hopelessly broken in the very texture of my existence. I live with this keen awareness during Great Lent. And yet, even this is God’s abundant grace. For it compels my heart to cry out, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner” and to strain toward the renewed life and creation of Pascha.