In this lesson we focus on the devotions and spirituality appropriate for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the penance of Lent. We will cover activities and practices that we can undertake for the entire Lenten season so that we can advance in prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.
All CatechismClass Lessons follow our time-tested 7 Step format: Introduction, Opening Prayers, Scripture and Commentary, Catechism Passages, Integration of the Lesson Topic, an activity, and a closing prayer. Quizzes end each of the lessons.Preview This Lesson
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Ash Wednesday Mass 2011 Photo by Bowsk via Flickr
Today is the beginning of the penitential season of Lent. As we reflect on the example of our Lord and the words spoken by Him in Matthew 6, let us continue to read from Chapter 4: Discipline of the Senses in “Practical Spirituality” by Hegomen Athanasius Iskander:
DISCIPLINE OF THE EARS:
Perhaps the most common offense to the ear is bad music. Bad lyrics even blasphemous lyrics. Very loud and violent music is also to be avoided. I sometimes walk into a store to buy something, and I hate the music they are pumping into my ear. Some music gives me the feeling that the devil is beating the drums!
One of the most offensive media now is music videos. Not only are you bombarded by very lustful lyrics sung in a very lustful way, but your eyes are also bombarded with very lustful scenes. The results are devastating and they are all over the TV.
Bad music often sticks to your mind and the words keep repeating themselves in your mind while you are working or walking or even while you are praying.
Another offense is hearing heretic talk or watching heretic programs on TV. I often look at and listen to “so-called” TV evangelists, and not one of them passes my stringent test of Orthodoxy. There is often nice words from the Bible that entice the simple and the uncritical, but there is always the poison hidden in the honey.
“Preachers” who think that they can explain the prophesies of the Bible are all over the waves. There are those who speak of the “Left behind” phantasy also known as the “Rapture heresy.” This heresy is less than 150 years old, and it teaches that Christ will come to take the Church out of the world before the “Great Tribulation.” Let me quote you from an e-mail I received from a Protestant who wants to join our church,
“I am sincere in my search for Christianity, as it has always been. I would love to learn more about the Orthodox faith but I really don’t know where to start. Any suggestions would be great! Here's a little background about me that might help explain how I came to believe Orthodoxy to be the true Church. I have been studying the Bible for 6 years now, first within the Pentecostal tradition and more recently in the Anglican tradition. I was “hood winked” by the Left behind (fiction based end times) and fell in with strict Protestants, disregarding Holy tradition of the Church. With serio... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
Ash Wednesday is part of the following course(s):