As Holy Week approaches, it’s essential to focus more on our spiritual growth and deepen our connection with God. Here are some ways to be spiritually edified during this incredible week.Read more: Holy Week: Disconnecting from Distractions to Reconnect with God
Unplug from Electronics and Media
In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with distractions from electronic devices and social media. Holy Week is an opportunity to unplug from these distractions and focus on our spiritual lives. Take a break from social media and limit your time on electronic devices. Instead, spend more time in quiet reflection, meditation, and prayer. Disconnecting from the digital world can help you tune in to the spiritual world and cultivate a deeper connection with God.
“We must also be careful with the media, which are constantly trying to seduce us. If we do not limit our exposure, we will lose our inner freedom and become slaves of the media.”+Saint Paisios of Mount Athos
Read the Holy Scriptures and Spiritual Books
Reading the Holy Scriptures and spiritual books can be an excellent way to deepen your understanding of your faith and connect more deeply with God. During Holy Week, take time to read the Bible, especially the Gospels that recount the events of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Additionally, consider reading other spiritual books that inspire and guide you on your spiritual journey. Reading about the lives of the saints, their struggles, and their faith can help you grow in your own faith and inspire you to lead a life worthy of our calling. I have some Lenten reading recommendations here.
“Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight,Troparion from Bridgroom Matins
And blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching;
And again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.
Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep,
Lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom.
But rouse yourself crying: Holy, holy, holy, art Thou, O our God.
Through the Theotokos have mercy on us.”
Spend More Time Praying the Jesus Prayer
The Jesus Prayer is a short, powerful prayer that can be repeated throughout the day to help us focus on God’s presence in our lives. It is a simple prayer, but it’s power is profound.
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.”
By repeating this prayer, we can quiet our minds and open our hearts to God’s grace and love. During Holy Week, consider spending more time praying the Jesus Prayer. You can repeat it silently to yourself while you go about your daily activities, house work, preparing family meals, or you can set aside time for quiet reflection and prayer (even while laying in bed with a nursing baby). It can be tempting to have the ideal of finding the perfect time for quiet prayer, but anytime is the perfect time for the Jesus Prayer. This prayer can help you deepen your connection with God and cultivate a spirit of humility and gratitude.
“The Jesus Prayer is the most important prayer for the Orthodox Christian. It is a prayer that can be repeated throughout the day, in any place and in any circumstance, and can lead us to a deep and unceasing remembrance of God.”+Saint Theophan the Recluse
Attend Holy Week Services
It can be really difficult to be at all of the Holy Week services with young children, especially if you attend a parish that usually does not offer weekday services, but make your best effort to attend everything. It’s such a blessing to be there with Christ through His passion and culminating with His glorious resurrection!
“The Holy Week services are a time when we can unite ourselves to Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection. We should attend these services with a spirit of humility and repentance, and with a desire to be transformed by God’s grace.”+Elder Cleopa of Romania
Blessed Holy Week!