It is easy to con­fess that I have not fasted on pre­scribed days, or that I’ve missed my prayers, or become angry. It is quite a dif­fer­ent thing, how­ever, to real­ize sud­denly that I have defiled and lost my spir­i­tual beauty, that I am far away from my real home, my real life, and that some­thing pre­cious and pure and beau­ti­ful has been hope­lessly bro­ken in the very tex­ture of my exis­tence. Yet this, and only this, is repen­tance, and there­fore it is also a deep desire to return, to go back, to recover that lost home. I received from God won­der­ful riches … I received the knowl­edge of God and in Him the knowl­edge of every­thing else and the power to be a son of God. And all this I have lost, all this I am los­ing all the time, not only in par­tic­u­lar sins and trans­gres­sions, but in the sin of all sins: the devi­a­tion of my love from God, pre­fer­ring the “far coun­try” to the beau­ti­ful home of the Father.

Fr. Alexan­der Schme­mann, Great Lent

Justin’s preaching the prodigal son parable on Sunday. I’m packing tissues. And wearing waterproof mascara.