My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Congratulations to all of you on the completion of the first week of Great Lent. Only six weeks remain to the glorious celebration of celebrations, Pascha. May God strengthen us with His divine Grace and blessing to complete the remaining weeks with great profit and for the betterment of our spiritual life. The second week of Great Lent begins this Sunday during which the Triumph of Orthodoxy is proclaimed. The reason for this is given below.
When we walk into an Orthodox Church, we are overwhelmed with the otherworldly beauty and substance that is found there. It is as if we have left our world and have entered a completely different dimension. We are surrounded by God, His Most-Holy Mother, and the saints. We are taken back in time to accompany our Savior throughout His earthly life. We witness His suffering and death. We gloriously watch His Resurrection. We grieve with the apostles when the Savior leaves this world to ascend back into Heaven. But we are joyously comforted with the sight of the Holy Spirit descending from Heaven to establish Christ's Church on earth. And we come face to face with all the wonderful saints of the Church whose lives we have heard about or may have read. All of these edifying experiences are made possible through the presence of icons. (continue)