I recently wrote several posts about the Lenten Journey that I am taking. I originally described it as a tradition from the Orthodox church… and since then, I have received some confused responses from all of you. I feel I need o make some clarifications.
I grew up with the traditions of the Gregorian Armenian Apostolic Church. It is a part of the Oriental Orthodoxy that traces back to the Apostles Bartolommeo and Thaddeus who spread Christianity in Ancient Armenia. Armenia was the first country to officially adopt Christianity as its religion back in 301 A.D..
Since it is very old, a lot of traditions that are part of Lent are kept very authentic and pure.
In addition some traditions that were predating Christianity were interwoven and given a new life and a new meaning by the new Christian church.
One of those traditions is fasting during the springtime and general cleansing of the mind, body and spirit. This tradition came from a time when people were highly in tune with the cycle of nature and spring cleansing was a way for them to mimic the act of rebirth and revival that occur in nature.
Every year the church reestablished new dates for The Great Lent due to calendar changes.This year it is from February 13th to the March 30th.
But the dates are not what make Lent so vital to our well-being. The act of sacrificing and cleansing is about commitment; commitment to ourselves, commitment for several weeks on a journey of self-discovery, commitment to stay disciplined and follow-through.
This type of undertaking is one that can be spiritual, holy, purposeful or even whimsical. But no matter how you approach it, a Lenten Journey like the one I am describing will reward you with a stronger character and a greater insight into yourself.
In short: This journey is about investing a few weeks into our personal growth and improvement before we run forward and try to “Conquer the World!”