In the name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen!
Spiritual Growth During the Great Lent
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18
Very often in our spiritual life, we fight on our own, without letting God in with us to ask Him strength and assistance, forgetting the Lord’s saying:” for without Me you can do nothing” (John. 15:5). Those people, they don’t ask God to be with them in whatever they do. On the contrary, each one of them depends only on his/her thinking or on someone else’s, not putting in mind God’s work in him or for him! At the same time, Jesus says: “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full ” (John. 16:24).
And many us when we intend to live in holiness or even intend to grow in the life of holiness we take many vows and give many promises as if WE, with our power, can do what we had promised to! We don’t even ask for God’s help when it comes to fulfilling those vows or promises. With confidence and feeling of the false strength, we think that we can fulfill our vows. The branch of a vine can never grow or bear fruit unless the vine’s juice passes and reaches it otherwise it dies, as God says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (John. 15:5). So, do you rely on your self, in all the details of your life, or to seek the Lord and depend on Him?
So how can we grow spiritually during this Holy Great Lent?
- Partake Holy Communion
Whenever we start something; e.g. fasting, Instead of saying, “ I will fast this until 3 pm, we should ask God to give us strength so that we can fast until 3 pm. If we are serious about pursuing something, why not pray about it? We have to learn that God is concerned with our every move and it’s best to seek His direction before making any commitment. When King David got in trouble and was at his worst moment he said; “create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).
Fasting weakens the body and elevates the soul. It is a battle against the flesh. A weakened body is less susceptible to sin and more susceptible to an awakened soul. "My knees are weak through fasting, And my flesh is feeble from lack of fatness" (Psalm 109:24). Fasting is the first response to the act of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Fasting on the Mount was the first act of Christ to begin His ministry.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“ Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13)
“ Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24)
“Those who are well not need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” (Ezekiel 30:25-27).
- Partake Holy Communion
“ For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:33-35)
“Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed,[h] and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (John 6:54-56)
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9)
Spiritual growth is something that comes from practice. It is not an easy thing, it's a battle with the devil. Sometimes you are in the best state of your spiritual life and sometimes you might be at your lowest so you need to always follow this 5 steps. Always ask God first, but when you ask you must pray; when you pray, you must fast; when you fast, you must repent; ALL OF THEM ARE MEANINGLESS IF YOU DO NOT PARTAKE FROM THE HOLY COMMUNION Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.
Glory be to God
And to His Mother Virgin Mary
And to His Holy Cross! Amen.