27–28 February 2012 • Community Lenten Retreat • By Deborah (Malacky) Belonick
Touching upon all the spiritual gifts the season of Great Lent offers, our Dean, Archpriest John Behr, delivered four talks to the seminary community, in between the lengthy liturgical services in Three Hierarchs Chapel that mark the first two days of Great Lent. With astute attention to the teachings of Scripture and the Fathers, Fr. John centered his meditations on the necessity of suffering and dying, in order for true life in Christ—life eternal—to emerge.
"The Epistle of Barnabas," said Fr. John, "notes: 'For a human being is earth that suffers,' and he clearly has in mind the malleable clay that God used to form a human being, as in the Book of Genesis. Suffering in this context means being subjected to the action of another...clay being forced into shape by the hands of God. But, it would be a very wooden interpretation to think this was something that happened once 'way back when'...it would be very wooden not to hear in this passage also the sufferings that we constantly undergo in our daily lives, sufferings that work to humanize us now."