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Gain the blessing of the Paschal season

Fortunate people of God - Christ is Risen!

Much has been written about Lent - whole books even. I am not aware, however, of very much that guides us on how to "do" the Paschal season. I remember my spiritual father teaching us that this was the time Jesus appeared to his followers in order to confirm their faith so as to prepare them for the gifting of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He urged us to be attentive since the Lord would also find ways to do the same for us - if we were willing.

I am so happy to see many of you coming to the Bright Week vespers this year. Bright week is like the Paschal version of the first week of Lent - special services each evening to help us "set the tone" for the 40 days.

Here's a thought that perhaps might be helpful to those who want to gain the blessing of the Paschal season. Lent was principally about us and our efforts to deepen our repentance. The St. Ephriam Prayer said it all - grant that I may see my own failings. Without abandoning or neglecting that repentance the Paschal celebration focuses not so much on ourselves, but, on Christ. Here is a prayer that might be a good addition to our daily rule during Pascha. I have extracted it from a much longer prayer by an anonymous monk of the Holy Mountain.

          Lord, help me to believe in you more deeply

            Come, in the way You know best.

            Visit me, so that I may obtain Your deep peace.

            Guide me to find you, so my soul will rejoice.

With love in the Risen Christ,

Fr. Philip.

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