March 7, 2011 • Campus Enters Lenten Season
Our campus community has entered the rhythm of Great Lent, having passed the familiar signposts that mark the season: reading of pre-lenten Gospels, singing hymns from the Lenten Triodion, and finally asking for each other's mercy during the Rite of Forgiveness. Now, on the first and second days of the Great Fast, we share in a campus tradition, an intense retreat, replete with lengthy liturgical services and periods of silence, and intermittent meditations, this year given by the seminary Chancellor, Archpriest Chad Hatfield.
Father Chad's meditations, titled "Conversion of the Heart," "Life in the Kingdom," "Extending the Kingdom," and "Eucharistic Living," will be delivered to our community in Three Hierarchs Chapel over the course of the two-day retreat. They also will be podcast in the "Voices from St. Vladimir's" section of Ancient Faith Radio (AFR). Father Chad began his first meditation by urging the community to recall their vocation as "new creatures in Christ."
"Very few Orthodox Christians have the blessing that we have: to retreat from the demands of life during these two days," began Fr. Chad. "In the words of St. Paul, this is a time to remember that we are 'dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus.' It is a time especially to remember that it is too easy in a hallowed place, like the seminary, to become merely 'paid professional holy men and women.' It is a time, instead to return to our First Love, to begin again to love God with our whole heart, mind, and soul. All we need to do so is the desire and the decisiveness to change."