When a person spends Lent in a proper way, they can change their spiritual life for the better, which is the main goal of any church abstinence, Patriarch Kirill noted.
“We are entering the blessed holy days, which, if spent correctly, can change our lives for the better. As a matter of fact, this is the purpose of fasting,” said His Holiness Patriarch Kirill on the eve of Great Lent, on March 1, during the Vespers at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church added that “through prayer, through abstinence from meat and dairy products, and through self-restraint,” a person can really create “favorable conditions for an important step in the course of fasting towards changing one’s life for the better.”
“And in order for this time to be as useful as possible, in order for us to achieve our goals, we should try to fulfill what the Church teaches us about the Holy Forty Days,” said Patriarch Kirill.
At the same time, the Patriarch noted that church instructions during Lent are “not some kind of exorbitant burden due to circumstances of ancient times”.
“They incorporated the experience of countless Orthodox people who, following the instructions of Lent, achieved significant changes in their spiritual life, and an indicator of these changes most often becomes a special state of mind at the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ,” said His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
In other words, he explained, fasting is “a chance for all of us to do something that during normal everyday life is not possible, because our thoughts are focused on other things.”
Patriarch Kirill paid special attention to the fight against our vices, passions, to strengthening ourselves with prayer, and to educating our will through abstinence in food.
“The most important thing is to be determined to fast in such a way so that the restriction in food is accompanied with prayer and a special lifestyle,” concluded the Patriarch.