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Father Andrey Lemeshonok's Advice for a Joyful Pascha

Father Andrey Lemeshonok on Indifference to Pascha

Sometimes we face temptations. Regarding Pascha (Easter), Fr. Sophrony (Sakharov) said that during the period of Great Lent we cry for our sins and for ourselves, because at this time it is more or less typical of our nature. However it is much more difficult to rejoice, to overcome our sin-corrupted nature and find the strength to rejoice.

This is why it is customary to rest a little on Pascha, to allow ourselves a little more than usual. In fact, during the Easter period we should be even more prudent. We must fight for this joy. But how?

You don’t have to be a slave to your sin. You feel bad, you feel sad, you are not in the mood, but everyone is happy. Don’t believe yourself! The Church gives you a blessing to rejoice. So, rejoice! You don’t want to? Then you force yourself.

You make yourself realize that there is a sin in you, which can ruin the holiday for you and your family. Why should you believe this sin? There is a blessing to rejoice, for there is a great reason for it — victory over death.

children before Easter Cross procession

Before Easter Cross procession

The fact that there is darkness in your soul now. Well, we have to force ourselves.

We must fight to reach the Kingdom of Heaven. When we live according to our own feelings, according to our temporary conditions, then we will certainly cry when it is time to rejoice and feel happy when it is time to cry. The enemy will confuse everything.

But we know that no matter how bad we feel, Christ is Risen! Glory to God! I have tears in my eyes, it is very difficult for me now, it hurts everywhere, but Christ is Risen! I must overcome this sorrow, this pain, this dissatisfaction, this self-pity and to join the common joy that God has given us.

However, this joy will touch those people, who have made at least a little effort during the Great Lent. Of course, when all these dates are formal for people, when they think that well, now we colour some eggs, bake some cakes, sit at the table and drink, eat and so on — this is an example.

On the other hand, when a person has received Holy Communion, when he has visited the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, when he has lived the beautiful church services of the Holy Week, when he has confessed and worked on himself. Surely God will comfort this person who managed to force himself to do something in the name of God.

I can say that from my personal experience. I have worked in the church for many years. Not only as a priest, I also worked as a lay helper in the church. When the Feast comes, you feel so dark inside that it seems impossible to face this darkness. But still, if you managed to humble yourself, the joy of the Feast will come. It probably will not last long, but at least you’ll be able to feel it.

Easter

Easter blessing at St. Elisabeth Convent

It is like when the sky is covered with clouds. I remember when summer was very cloudy. It was raining all the time. That year we lived in tents in the forest. It was so cold that we were just shivering in those tents. It rained for days. But suddenly the sun appeared in the sky. You know that moment when the sun came to make up for everything. It was the miracle. Everything was shining around.

The same applies to our lives. It can be dark and difficult to live with. It may seem that you can’t take it anymore, that you don’t want anything at all, and that everything is just bad and can’t be good. But then God comforts you. A drop of God’s love penetrates you and we come back to life.

As you know, Easter Day is followed by Bright Week and divine services follow the order of the Paschal Liturgy. We invite you to send us your prayer requests for the entire Bright Week from Easter Day through St. Thomas Sunday. To do this, please follow the link:
https://obitel-minsk.org/prayer-request

April 12, 2023
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