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12.02.2018

Spiritual food for those who celebrate Shrovetide

Among our readers, of course, there are none who would not have heard, would not know anything about Shrove Tuesday, a special week, otherwise called cheese, because of the church ban on eating meat.

The last time faithful to the church statute Christians eat meat on a Sunday, when the Divine Liturgy reads the parable of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25, 31-46). This custom is called "chopping meat." All the following days, until Proshchennogo Sunday (not excluding Wednesday and Friday), we eat dairy and fish, little by little preparing ourselves for the feat of the forty-day fast ...

We shall not discuss for a long time and recall how the church writers of the preceding centuries took up the excesses in the wiring of the winter and denounced the pagan excesses of our ancestors who were not yet fully imbued with the spirit of Christian piety. We will not condemn those who, now celebrating Shrovetide, participate in noisy friendly feasts, appreciating the features of Russian cuisine. After all, in our pragmatic, soulless age, it is not a sin to pay homage to the primordial qualities of the Russian people: hospitality, generosity, hospitality. Let the hearts warm, the home atmosphere brightens with kind smiles and cordial greetings ...

But let us, friends, turn our gaze to the gospel, memorize the six cases of evangelical mercy that are revealed to us by God Himself, and negligence of which will cause the eternal condemnation of the Christian in the hour of the Last Judgment: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the saints The angels with Him, then sit on the throne of His glory, and all nations will be gathered before Him. And he will separate them from the others, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and he will set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right: Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the Mgr: for I hungered, and you gave Me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; was a stranger, and you received me; was naked, and you clothed me; was sick, and you visited Me; in prison was, and you came to Me "(Matthew 25, 31-36). These are the laws prescribed to us by God Himself! These are the fruits that we are called to nurture on the tree of faith, unless one believes in vain! We have before us and for us a program of actions, truly saving for everyone who will carry them out to the glory of the Lord Jesus! From now on, in each hand of the poor man, stretched out to us, we will see the outstretched hand of the Son of God, for us he perceived the image of a slave ... Now, showing mercy and compassion, giving and giving, we will be imbued with the conviction that Christ Himself accepts our gifts to give us eternal salvation in heaven !!

At the same time, we must deepen our understanding of the six cases of evangelical charity. Not only bodily, but also spiritually we will serve our neighbors, generously sharing with them the grace of the Holy Spirit ...

Feed the hungry ... The true bread for the immortal human soul is the word of God - the eternal gospel verb emanating from the mouth of Christ. Whenever we read the Holy Scripture to our neighbors, or retell it, when we reflect on the commandments and share with the like-minded patristic wisdom, the mysterious saturation with the heavenly bread, crushed and distributed by our hands, is accomplished.

To water the thirsty ... By the living water flowing from the hearts of the disciples, Christ called His gracious doctrine of faith. The one who has the boldness to teach (himself fulfilling the postulates of faith), who passes from the knowledge of God to the communion of God, announcing faith with words and deeds of faith, is like a man standing by the well, all who approached treating cold spring water.

Dress naked ... Nude, naked, you can call a person deprived of Christ's virtues, and with them - and the grace of the Holy Spirit. He who can share with neighbor faith and love, meekness and gentleness, purity and chastity, wisdom and discretion, truly clothed the hearer with pure clothes of joy and righteousness in the Lord!

The wanderer to enter the house ... Is not the human mind wandering, wandering far away in the country, long since left the Father's house - its own heart? Obviously, no one can reconnect even one's own mind and heart, if God Himself does not help him ... In a kind way, gently edifying our neighbors, nurturing with our own example, we promote their enlightenment, help to overcome the split and split consciousness, to acquire the wholeness of mind and heart , to gain unity of the soul and body, in whose consent God is glorified!

Visit the sick ... Recall that the Savior does not call the righteous, but sinners for repentance, as a doctor mainly deals not with the healthy, but with the sick. As brothers in misfortune, we, the weaknesses of the infirm to wear, care not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of our neighbor. Without condemning the sinner, but regretting him, trying to mentally find for his actions at least some justification, we will accept him with all the shortcomings, how with love the doctor leans over the patient's bed with a smile of hope and encouragement ...

To come to the prisoner in prison ... The dungeon of ignorance of God is sometimes called the state of disbelief or disobedience of man to the will of Almighty God. The ability to enlighten the mind with a word and soften the heart of a listener far from piety, arm him, the poor, with the shield of faith and the sword of prayer, nonviolently attract students of Christ to the camp - that's art from the arts, science from sciences! Whoever owns them, then the ancient prophet calls the mouth of God, capable of plundering the honest from the unworthy! Such should truly be called the sons of Light, who take from the darkness of godlessness into the wonderful light of Christ all those who respond to the grace of God and reach out to her ...

Let us conclude, brotherhood, our spiritual meditation, having satiated them and ourselves, and our readers on the eve of the Farewell Sunday!

Who of the readers is thinking of receiving special grace, let him share with his household members the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

A source: Russian house

Author: Archpriest Artemy Vladimirov

Tags: Religion, Orthodoxy, Pancake week, Fasting