Malankara World

Great Lent

Lenten Rumination

by E. S. John, Australia

The Lent is meant to cleanse the whole being, both the inner and chemical by being with God. How to clean the physical man? The abstinence from food for hours and days allow the body to consume all the toxins accumulated by our day to day inherent infirmities which finds its expression through our irreligious life of anger, vengeance, hatred, jealousy, partying spirit, intrigues and so on which pump out chemical secretions of acids, the nursery of toxins, and many other unwanted secretions into our bloodstream that make the chemical imbalances of the body.

Evaporating the toxin by eating simple and natural small quantities of food allows the inner man to be liberated from the body and participate with the infinite cosmic and metaphysical forces of higher planes. As the toxicity is a vibrant web of dark forces' pandemonium, making our body as their play ground, we find it difficult to vibrate in tune with the Heavenly powers that give more strength to our inner vital forces to be in unison with the land of the living. Where there is fasting and prayer, the devil is there to enforce the pandemic law of confusion and civil war.

The Israelites didn't have to toil and moil in the wilderness because they were fed with the ready-made food of the angels. While leading a sedentary life of laziness and eating without any physical or mental efforts, they forgot about the slavery that killed their spirit and body in the land of the Pharaoh and started grumbling against God and Moses who liberated them from their servitude, because living with God by relinquishing their sinful habits of rebellion and grumblings has become a punishment for them.

Why did God make this wilderness journey for 40 years when it could be done by 2 years in reaching the Promised Land by a short-cut route? As man is sinful, He wanted to cleanse them through hardships and difficulties. Just as sweating or any other excreting method is a form of cleansing our body, shedding tears also is a form cleansing agent. Repentance of the sins that cleanse our body help the sins of the inner man also to be sublimated to transform from holiness to holiness, a continual process of progress of the soul and body together.

A mid-air fiery cosmic serpent is indispensable for a rebelling multitude that got bites from fiery serpents. In order to save man, a Heavenly man came and dwelt with us for the atonement of our sins. Lent is a rehearsal of this spiritual journey of Jesus who gave up His Body for us. He went to the wilderness, the haunting place of the Devil and his army, and the reason for Jesus and the Desert Fathers choosing the same venue for confronting the temptations of the dark powers, for 40 days or more. This also recalls the journey of 40 days of any departed soul through the wilderness of `oyar', the devil's sanctuary, a fierce life to be frightened by any human being who is prone to die any moment. It is the passion of Christ that broke His Body for us is the ultimate passion which should rule us during these Lenten days.

They ate the Manna, the food of the celestials, in the desert, yet they angered God and married with the passions of the ungodly gentiles. In these days of IT age that provide us with fossil, ready-made food, drive through take away and restaurant food and ready-made cloths dwellings, we participate with the liturgical food without proper confession and repentance which is the pre-requisite to share His Body. A sinless Jesus also washed His disciples' feet as a sign of the sacrament of Confession and gave his Body that unites the sinful humanity together. But Judas who received His Body without confession by throwing away the 30 blood money coins, became a part of the dark world of chaos.

Looking at the bronze serpent, cross, the symbol of the hideous death of Jesus on the cross that crushes the head of the Eden serpent, we should take part in the Holy Body of Christ by going through the penance of Lenten fasting and prayers.

"I fight with my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified", 1. Cor.9: 27.
"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?....through Jesus Christ our Lord", Rom. 7: 24-25.

See Also:

Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving
Lenten conversion is not a superficial renewal. What the Lord wants is not just the change of bad habits and worldly vices; He wants a clean soul and no half-measures will do.

Great Lent: A Season of Renewal for All
Prophet Isaiah was emphatic in arguing that lent and fasting are not just pious "obligatory Observances" for the people of God, but a tremendous transforming force. Being mortal and feeble, humans need periodic renewal of body, mind and soul. How is this possible?

The Spirituality of Lent
There are two different ways of looking at this fast because there are two different versions of these forty days, or forty segments of time, in the Scriptures. One is the blessing of the revelation of what it is that we need to do in service to God and to humanity. And the other is of the purification that needs to happen for God to set things straight in us and around us.

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