Lent begins for us Orthodox this week, about a week-and-a-half before non-orthodox have Easter! I’m excited, and a little nervous, to be beginning Lent. You see, in the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church, the Lenten discipline is to fast and abstain (from meat) every day of Lent except on Sundays! I’m not sure I can handle that yet… Donna is planning on doing Monday/Wednesday/Friday as meatless for the entire family. I am going to attempt to do closer to what the Church call for… but no promises! This is one thing that I love about the Orthodox Church. The Church expects a lot from its members, but it also realizes that everyone is at a different point in their spiritual journeys. It doesn’t proclaim that its members are “going to hell” because of their failures. Rather, the Orthodox Church, as a true hospital for sinners wants us to work towards the goal. I can handle that attitude, and honestly, I think I am more likely to reach (or at least, get close to) the goal. Additionally, I will be striving towards the goal with the right attitude — not avoiding hellfire — but striving towards being more like Christ. After all, that is the ultimate goal of life.