Lent – The School of Repentance

Lent – The School of Repentance February 12, 2012

Alexander Schmemann in his book Great Lent refers to Lent as the “School of Repentance”. Writing for an Orthodox readership, Schmemann has something nevertheless to say to us all Christians.

We are approaching again the Great Lent-the time of repentance, the time or our reconciliation with God. Repentance is the beginning and also the condition of a truly Christian life. “Repent!” was the first word of Christ when He began to preach (Matt 4:17). But what is repentance? In the daily rush of our life we have no time to think about it, we simply take it for granted . . . Yet there must be a reason why our Church has set apart seven weeks as a special time of repentance and calls each Orthodox Christian to a special spiritual effort. And the this reason must obviously concern me, my life, my faith, my membership in the Church. I must try to understand it, to follow as much as I can the teachings of my Church, be Orthodox not only in name, but in life itself [I love that line]. What then is repentance? Great Lent gives the answer to this question. It is indeed a school of repentance, to which each Christian must go every year in order to refresh the understanding of his faith.

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