When I hear the word ‘yearning” I think of deep longing. As Eastern Orthodox Christians stand on the cusp of Great Lent, there is a great longing, a yearning for quiet reflection. I’m experiencing a yearning for slowing down the hectic pace of my life: cutting back on Netflix streaming and reducing my time on Facebook.
Great Lent is the perfect time to remember spiritual things: to remind ourselves about our Christian Faith. It’s a time to be reminded that we are not of this world but merely passing through and that something far greater is waiting for us at the end of the journey.
I also find myself yearning for all things meaty. We’re still baby stepping our way up to a full Orthodox fast but each year we strive to do a little more than the year before. So while I want to eat lots of beef and pork and I work towards using up the meat in the freezer, I also find myself yearning for the self-discipline that I pray I develop during Lent.
I’m also looking forward to the beautiful services of Great Lent. You could say I am longing for the pre-sanctified liturgies that are served on Wednesdays and Fridays. Our Parish even has “soup suppers” on Fridays.
I am yearning for Great Lent and all that comes with it: the fast, the liturgies, and the spiritual focus. I love Christmas but Pascha is even better. And Pascha is made richer, fuller, and more meaningful through experiencing Great Lent.