Yesterday during our first High School Christian Education class we were discussing in general the three primary aspects of Orthodox Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. Steve and I, recognizing that in general we Orthodox naturally or plainly are inclined toward increased prayer (consider the MUCH longer and greater frequency of the services) and fasting (obviously), but it seems we may be abit light on the area of almsgiving. And so our underscoring fell under this topic.
But in general it seemed that through our discussions, much ado was made of the idea of "distractions." Those things in life (oh so very many things) that pull us away from our most important priorities and blind us to, or confuse us about reality. It occured to me that we might perhaps be the most disctracted people ever to inhabit the planet, espeically given the media that so fills our everday life. Doubt it? Try driving home from work today (assuming you have more than a 10 minute commute) without the background of a radio, a book (if you take the bus like me), or a cell phone...then try it without driving...just sit in silence alone in your bedroom. In my case, when attempting to do this I can hear my mind screaming with recollection of media bombardments which I have mysteriously memorized. The silence is sometimes deafening.
Well, we went on to talk about the silent and almost secret realm of being, where we are left to ourselves and we begin to sense need. A strange need, a sort of unnatural aloneness that grieves us. We begin to sense our lack of self-sufficiency; Our helplessness in the face of a seemingly unknown foe or dilemma. I believe that in a way, all the things that we do during Lent is intended to lead us away from distraction and into that realm of need-sense.
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 8:33 AM [+]