Reflection from a parishioner
As a child, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s… our focus during Great Lent was always on meals that did not include meat or dairy products. What could you cook that did not include either and would actually taste good? As a result, the default was always food that was very simple. Now that I am older, I have learned a little more about the Orthodox faith and what the Great Fast entails. We fast from animal products to show us that we are dependent upon God. In today’s society, we have so many more options available that make Lenten meals even better. Many grocery stores carry vegan products, bakeries can create dairy free cakes, restaurants have vegan pulled pork sandwiches. What I remembered through this menu planning process is what a monk told me a few years ago… don’t focus so much on the food but on your actions and what you do. I don’t think I have ever received better advice. As I sat down and thought about my Lenten preparations, I also reflected on helping others…whether it is your brother, a homeless person, a baba who can’t find a shopping cart in the grocery store or simply just a kind word in a time of need. Helping others is what Christ did, the Saints did and we are called to do. Let us remember that during this time of Great Lent, the Stewardship that we give to our Church is also used for the many ministries that provide this opportunity to help others.