June 30, 2011 JL Gerhardt 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.