Book Notes: Bishop Jonah and Alexander Schmemann

great-lent-journey-to-pascha-schmemannGreat Lent:
Journey to Pascha
by Alexander Schmemann

1969
by Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press
Goodreads
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This coming Sunday is Forgiveness Sunday. During the first two weeks of Lent, I’ll be sharing some notes from a wonderful book on prayer.

For today, just two quotations to help you launch into Lent,and possible invite to re-read Alexander Schmemann‘s classic.

On page 33, I read:

Sad brightness:
the sadness of the exile,
of the waste I have made of my life;
the brightness of God’s presence and forgiveness,
the joy of the recovered desire for God,
the peace of the recovered home.
Such is the climate of lenten worship;
such is its first and general impact
on my soul.”

And on page 116, this amazing passage from John Cassian (5th century):

“We must not avoid communion
because we deem ourselves to be sinful.
We must approach it more often
for the healing of the soul
and the purification of the spirit,
but with such humility and faith
that considering ourselves unworthy…
we would desire even more the medicine for our wounds.
Otherwise it is impossible
to receive communion once a year,
as certain people do…
considering the sanctification of heavenly Mysteries
as available only to saints.
It is better to think that by giving us grace,
the sacrament makes us pure and holy.
Such people manifest more pride than humility…
for when they receive,
they think themselves as worthy.
It is much better if,
in humility of heart,
knowing that we are never worthy
of the Holy mysteries,
we would receive them every Sunday
for the healing of our diseases,
rather than,
blinded by pride,
think that after one year
we become worthy of receiving them…”
John Cassian, 3rd conference on sinlessness

“The goal of repentance is the transformation of our minds and hearts,
our very consciousness.
It means the transformation of our whole life.
To engage it means that we have to embrace change“.
Read in ARCHPASTORAL EPISTLE OF HIS BEATITUDE, METROPOLITAN JONAH FOR THE BEGINNING OF GREAT LENT 2010

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PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE NOTES
Have you read this book?
Any other good Lenten book
you will read this year?
Any reflection on these quotes?

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