Catholicosate of Cilicia
Antelias - Lebanon
2 March 2016. On Wednesday, according to established tradition, the Prelate and Church Council of the Diocese of Lebanon invited His Holiness Aram I to preside over the Mid-Lent Service at St Nishan, the Diocesan Church in Beirut. The seminary students accompanied His Holiness and chanted the prayers.
In his message, Catholicos Aram I explained that the Great Lent is an invitation by the Church to the faithful to repent. He then explained the meaning of the prayer of repentance and the steps involved in the act of repentance: Penitents withdraw from evil thoughts, follow the way of Jesus, who came to restore God’s presence and promised the Heavenly Kingdom, and reject their self-centred life, turning to a God-centred life.
By turning to a God-centred life, one moves from darkness to light, to the understanding of God as the expression of spiritual values and beauty, and the source of eternal life.
To turn to God is to know God. God revealed himself to humanity as a sign of his Grace. Knowing God means translating Jesus’ teachings to everyday life.
His Holiness concluded, “The Great Lent is the period when the Church invites her faithful to renounce worldly attractions and turn to God.”
At the end of the service, His Holiness, the seminarians and the faithful were the guests of the Ladies Guild of St Nishan for breakfast.