His Grace Bishop Basil writes:
February 26th, 2012
To the Christ-loving Clergy, Monastics and Laity of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America:
I bless you, and greet you with a holy kiss in the Name of the Lord Christ.
As we make our final preparations to enter into the Great Fast – which the hymnography of our Holy Church calls “the Springtime of the soul” – I make a prostration before each of you, begging your forgiveness and, of your charity, remembrance in your holy prayers.
In his Homily on Fasting, Abba Dorotheos of Gaza (+AD 620) says to us:
“Not only must we all pay attention to what we are eating, but we must also abstain from every sin, so that while the belly fasts, in the same way the tongue should also fast. In other words, we must abstain from slander, from lying, from vain talking, from mocking others, from anger and, in a word, from every sin which we commit with the tongue. In the same way, our eyes must also fast and not look at vain sights. Let us not be haughty with words and not look at anyone with rudeness and audacity. In the same way, if we are fasting, our fasting is pleasing to God when the five gates of our senses are well closed and preserve us pure and undefiled.”
May it be! Asking your forgiveness and prayers, assuring you of my continued paternal love, prayers and blessings, and wishing you a good Fast, I remain
Your unworthy intercessor before the All-holy Trinity,