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Bishop Anthony's Lenten Message, 2015

Reverend Clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest,

Christ is in our midst!

Lent is the road; the Resurrection is the destination. Lent is revival; Pascha is our arrival.

Lent is demanding and rewarding. It is hard to change, to leave the comfort zones of daily routines. And yet, there is also a freshness and happiness when we leave old habits and strike out into the mystery of what waits for us, and of whom we might become through our journey to the empty tomb. There may be strength in us that we discover has always been a part of us. For if we can reverse course, and use our spiritual energy to gain virtue instead of satisfying desire, a youthfulness comes to us. Those many desires that we have waste our energy and exhaust God’s grace in us, and as the eighth prayer in our morning prayers addressed to the Mother of God says, “I am aged by senseless sins.”

Let us do three things this year: Love God; Walk in the way of Jesus Christ, Living like he did on earth; and follow what He taught in the Gospels. Then we will “flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a Cedar in Lebanon.” Being “planted in the house of the Lord,” we will “flourish in the courts of our God,” and “still bring forth fruit in old age,” being “full of sap and green, to show that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him (Ps. 92. 12-15).”

May the Lord continue to guide and strengthen us as we travel the road to the Resurrection,

+Bishop Anthony
Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archidiocese of North America

His Grace Bishop Anthony's Great Lent Greeting Letter (PDF)83.27 KB