March 5, 2024

Reflection for the Monday of Meatfare Week (St. Theophan the Recluse)

Monday of Meatfare Week

(1 John 2:18–3:10; Mark 11:1–11)

By St. Theophan the Recluse

Yesterday the parable about the prodigal son invited us to return from dissipation to the good path. Now the holy Apostle John inspires us for this, giving assurance that if we do this, when the Lord appears, we will be like Him. What can compare with such a dignity?! I should think that upon hearing this, you would be filled with a desire to attain this for yourself. It is a good and most importantly needful thing! Do not delay undertaking that through which it is attained.

Read further: "Every man that has this hope in Him, purifies himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:3). Is there anything within you in need of purifying? Of course — no small amount of things will be found. Hurry, for where the Lord is, nothing unclean will enter. But don’t be horrified by the difficulty of the matter. The Lord Himself will be your helper in everything. Simply desire it with all your might and turn to the Lord for the help you need. The power of His grace will be attracted to your efforts, and things will go easily and successfully.

Just as there is no sin that defeats God’s mercy, so there is no moral impurity that can withstand the power of grace that consumes it. Only on your part, let there be a lack of desire for this uncleanness, make a strong effort to reject it and resort to the Lord with faith. 

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