Cheesefare Week

The Expulsion of Adam from Paradise

“When Adam saw the angel driving him out, and the door of divine Paradise closing, he sighed deeply and said: O Merciful One, have mercy on me who have fallen.”

(Contakion from the Matins Canon)

The intemperance and disobedience of our first-created ancestors towards God were the reasons for the fall and for the course of history that we live to this day. Their own choice of distancing from God and self-idolization brought us decay and death, for without God there is no life, power, and incorruption; there is no existence. But Adam believed the lie whispered by the cunning one, the poison of ancient envy towards God entered his soul, his heart, his bones, and he voluntarily and autonomously stepped away from God and joined the cunning one. “Adam, eating from the forbidden fruit, thought he would become god” (from the Synaxarion of the day). God honored his free will, and he received what he desired, along with all its consequences.

“Woe to me, passionate soul of mine, how did you not recognize the deception? How did you not sense the lie and envy of the enemy? But you darkened in mind and broke the commandment of your Creator.”

(Troparion from the third ode of the Matins Canon)

We all live with that consequence, but through Christ the Savior, we are again united with God to the measure of perfection and deification. And the path to this return into God’s embrace and closeness was shown by the Savior Himself, who fasted (without any need for Himself because He is sinless) for forty days and forty nights, being tempted by Satan. Therefore, now we too, with fasting and humility, begin our fasting journey of effort, self-examination, hunger for God, repenting, cleansing ourselves of all the sins we have committed throughout the year, repaying our spiritual debts through abstinence and forgiveness towards all, to prepare our soul for the meeting with Christ, her Bridegroom.

In our Holy Bigorska Monastery of the Honorable Forerunner, Saint John the Baptist, the teacher of repentance, the prescribed divine service was performed, presided over and officiated by our beloved Elder and Abbot, Bishop Partenij of Antani, who, preparing and encouraging us for fasting, effort, and abstinence, preached at the Divine Liturgy, teaching us love and forgiveness, to have a God-pleasing and holy fast.