Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 1, 16-20)
As we begin the second day of saving abstinence, we cry to Thee, o Lord: Pierce the hearts of us Thy servants with compunction and accept the prayers we offer Thee in fear. Grant us without stumbling to complete the course of the Fast and bestow upon us cleansing and great mercy. Striving to reach the goal of our lives and prepare our souls for eternity with Christ, through the narrow and steep path of spiritual climbing during the Lent, we diligently work to subdue the fire of the flaming passions. And nothing can put the fire out and moisten the dry soul of our souls better than the humble freshness of repentant tears. Fasting, abstinence, prayer, tears – that’s the cure for the corrupted soul and the path to humbleness. For humbleness is the true friend of ours which can bring us before the meek face of God.
Such was the Martyr from Bitola, Agathangel, who was made worthy to adorn the snow-white garments of his soul with the garland of martyrdom, thus testifying the most sublime love of Christ, by laying his soul down in order to save his neighbors from the Agarian evil. May his holy prayers strengthen us in this fit of three-day abstinence.