The Five Areas to Focus On During Great Lent

Great Lent has begun and many of us are excited to engage in this period of time, which is set aside for us to change. Change is difficult, and Lent can be intimidating for many, but we want to help you take advantage of this blessed opportunity. Here are five areas you can focus on.

Purify your life
Maintain a fast from certain foods, this builds discipline and conscientiousness in your daily life, and promotes health. A strict Lenten fast in the Armenian Church prohibits all animal products, but if your health or circumstances can't allow for it, start smaller. It shouldn't become an obsession, but a precursor to spiritual growth. If you're keeping a strict fast, our website has several recipes for Lenten friendly dishes.

Sanctify your life
Prayer sanctifies your life. Now is the time to pray. I recommend keeping a personal prayer journal, which will help you cultivate  compassion through prayer. Download this guide to help you create a daily prayer journal. Also, every Wednesday and Friday join us for evening services, which are great opportunities for prayer and meditation.

Simplify your life
Now is the time to empty your closets and give away as much to charity as you can! Our lives are full of material things that demand our time and focus, but yet aren't worthy of them. Life will always tend to be complex, but the chaos of our impermanent possessions prevents us from fully applying ourselves to rich relationships and a fulfilling spiritual life. Here are some tips to get started.

Focus your life
Our smartphones can receive more of our personal attention then our friends and loved ones. We regularly connect with the world, but the distractions of technology prevent us from connecting with the people we see every day. Lent is the time to courageously focus your life, and give yourself to what is deserving of your love. Identify the things that pull you away from presence and mindfulness and remove or deprioritize them where possible.

Most importantly: honor Christ’s life
Focusing on these areas can help us live a more Christ-like life. I pray that when we all reach the Feast of the Holy Resurrection, we have changed our lives, even just a little, to more closely resemble a living icon of Christ.

Date offered: 
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Fr. Mesrop Ash