PRE-LENT A.D. 2021
To the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Monastics,
Faithful of The Orthodox Archdiocese of America, of the Diocese of East and Southeast Asia,
of the Anglican Vicariate, and Friends:
Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Come away to a deserted place.”
As we approach the season of Lent we are invited to “come away to a deserted place” by Our Lord. Modern life as so many distractions of sight and sound that we can easily become overwhelmed….and just numb out. Great Lent is a special time when we can “lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light and walk becomingly.”
How shall we do that? Examine how you fill your day with sound… a radio, a TV (or other distractions such as food). Then intentionally turn off the noise… and approach that “deserted place” of silence. It is only when we are silent that God can enter into our minds and hearts in a still small voice.
WE are quick to point out to our children that they need “quiet time”….but do we also acknowledge that we, too, need quiet time….to read, to think, to pray…to simply “be?” In a family, most often this can only be found either at the early part of the day or after everyone has gone to sleep. For years I would get up at 3am for intercessory prayer. The room was quiet and dark and there were no distractions.
After I moved from the big city, I had a small house in the middle of the woods and it was always quiet…and my schedule had changed. But the need to “center” oneself has always been there, and is a welcome invitation to prayer and personal peace.
These days, I find that my quiet time in the middle of the night seems to invite the household cats to come and quietly sit or lay beside me. They seem to sense the need for peace and enjoy the quiet and the warmth of the fireplace. And, after a time of prayer, “I lie down, at once I fall asleep… for only you Lord make me dwell in safety.”
Have a spiritually profitable Lent.
Archbishop of New York
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Over the years, some have asked to have a copy of Archbishop Anthony’s Prayer. Here it is: